Medals and awards

Nominations for future awards

Award nominations are currently closed. When the next round of nominations opens, you will be able to nominate here.

The Janet Kear Union Medal

In 2019, the Union Medal was redesigned and renamed the Janet Kear Union Medal and it will continue to be awarded by BOU Council to BOU Members in recognition of distinguished service to the Union and ornithology.


Union Medal

The Union Medal was awarded (1912 – 2017) by BOU Council to a BOU Member in recognition of distinguished service to the Union and ornithology.

  • 1912 W. Goodfellow (Gold medal), A. F. R. Wollaston, G. E. Shortridge, C. H. B. Grant (Silver medals)
  • 1948 W. P. Lowe
  • 1953 A. W. Boyd
  • 1959 W. B. Alexander, E. A. Armstrong, D. A. Bannerman, Miss E. V. Baxter, P. M Scott
  • 1960 C. W. Benson
  • 1967 Salim Ali
  • 1968 J. M. M. Fisher, C. R. S. Pitman
  • 1969 C. W. Mackworth_Praed
  • 1970 L. H. Brown
  • 1971 S. Marchant, H. N. Southern, B. Stonehouse
  • 1972 D. Goodwin, N. W. Moore
  • 1973 Mrs B. P. Hall
  • 1975 K. H. Voous
  • 1976 K. Williamson, G. C. Shortridge, A. F. R. Wollaston
  • 1979 Ken E. L. Simmons
  • 1980 Geoffrey V. T. Matthews
  • 1984 Stanley Cramp, Phil A. D. Hollom, Guy Mountfort
  • 1987 Ian Newton
  • 1988 James F. Monk
  • 1989 Robert Spencer
  • 1991 F. Bruce M. Campbell
  • 1992 Mike P. Harris
  • 1993 Ronald M. Lockley
  • 1995 Roger Tory Peterson
  • 1996 Chris J. Mead
  • 1997 Robert A. F. Gillmor, John S. Ash
  • 1998 Janet Kear
  • 2004 Gwen Bonham
  • 2006 Roger Clarke
  • 2008 Chris J. Feare
  • 2011 Peter Jones
  • 2012 Andrew Gosler
  • 2013 Neil J. Bucknell
  • 2015 John H. Croxall
  • 2016 Chris M. Perrins
  • 2017 Jenny A. Gill


Godman-Salvin Prize

The Godman-Salvin Prize is awarded by BOU Council to an individual as a signal honour for distinguished ornithological work.

Alfred Newton Lecture

The object of the Alfred Newton Lecture is the presentation of a major lecture by an internationally renowned figure on an appropriate ornithological theme (from 2018 on the theme of the Union’s annual conference).

  • 1994 Prof Ian Newton (UK)
  • 1995 Prof Janet Kear (UK)
  • 1998 Prof Jared Diamond (US)
  • 2003 Prof Chris M. Perrins (UK)
  • 2009 Prof Tim R. Birkhead (UK)
  • 2018 Prof Hugh Possingham (Australia)
  • 2019 Prof Lei Cao (China)
  • 2021 Prof Carl Jones (UK) View Alfred Newton Lecture
  • 2022 Prof Nicholas B. Davies (UK) View Alfred Newton Lecture
  • 2023 Prof Jane M. Reid (UK/Norway)

Early Professional Award

A new award from 2023, the BOU’s Early Professional Award is made annually for an outstanding initial contribution to the field of ornithology. This includes an outstanding contribution in one or more of the following categories: ornithological research, community activities, capacity building & mentorship, and science communication & engagement.

Read more and nominate here

Early Professional Award recipients receive a silkscreen print of Zosia Frankowska’s Giant Ibis. This artwork prize was selected via an open competition. Announcing the art competition winner

BOU Ibis Award

An award recognising the outstanding achievement of younger ornithologists.

  • 2003 Will Cresswell
  • 2006 Juliet Vickery

BOU Honorary Life Members

Awarded as an honour by the BOU’s Council to mark the ornithological contributions and achievements of BOU members.

  • Prof Peter Berthold (Germany)
  • Prof Jean Blondel (France)
  • Prof Urs Glutz von Blotzheim (Switzerland)
  • Dr Paul Donald (UK)
  • Prof Andrew Gosler (UK)
  • Prof Soekarja Somadikarta (Indonesia)
  • Prof Staffan Ulfstrand (Sweden)

Founders Gold Medal

Presented to the four original Members surviving at the Jubilee Celebration,
9 December 1908

  • F. D. Godman
  • P. S. Godman
  • W. H. Hudleston
  • P. L. Sclater