The E. Alexander Bergstrom Memorial Research Award

E. Alexander Bergstrom (1919-1973) was Vice-President of the Northeastern Bird-Banding Association (now the Association of Field Ornithologists) and the Editor of Bird-Banding (now the Journal of Field Ornithology) for 21 years. These awards honor his memory and dedication to bird research. The purpose of the award is to promote field studies of birds by helping to support a specific research or analysis project. In judging among proposals of equal quality, special consideration will be given to those that: 1) focus on avian life history, 2) use data collected all or in part by non-professionals and/or 3) employ banding or other marking techniques. Research in both the U.S./Canada and Latin America is supported.

If possible, awardees, especially those receiving Domestic awards, are expected to present the results of their research at an annual meeting of the Association of Field Ornithologists. All awardees are also encouraged to consider publishing some of their findings in the Journal of Field Ornithology.

The applicant and/or their primary research supervisor must be a member of the Association of Field Ornithologists prior to the application deadline. To become a member, please visit

U.S./Canada awards are aimed at people beginning their research or those with limited or no access to major funding. They are restricted to non-professionals, undergraduates, and Masters degree candidates working in the United States or Canada. Ph.D. students studying at U.S. and Canadian institutions, regardless of their nationality or geographic region of investigation, are NOT eligible to receive a Bergstrom Research Award.

Latin American awards are restricted to individuals based AT Latin American institutions (individuals from Latin American that are studying or working at a U.S. or Canadian institution are eligible for U.S./Canada awards only). Non-professionals, undergraduates, Masters and Ph.D. candidates are all eligible for the Latin American competition.

Frequency and value
Approximately five awards (maximum $1500 US each) are made to applicants working in the U.S. or Canada annually. Approximately five awards (maximum $1500 US each) are made to applicants based in Latin America. Individuals may wish to consider using some of their award to purchase mist nets and other supplies used in ornithological research from the AFO. A list of supplies available can be found at Avian Research Supplies.

Applying for an award
Applicants must arrange to have one letter of reference e-mailed directly from the referee to Valentina Ferretti, Chair of the Bergstrom Awards Committee at:  Please contact the Chair if you have further questions about the Bergstrom Award.

U.S./Canada applications should be submitted in English. Latin American applications may be submitted in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.

You can now apply online!  Click HERE for application form.

Deadlines for receipt of applications
U.S./Canada applications are due 15 January (extended to 15 February, 2020). Latin American applications  are due 15 July.


Past Award Recipients

Click a year to expand for details on the award recipients:


from North America:

  • Lorainne Dargis, University of Northern Colorado – Does population density drive female singing behavior and breeding ecology of Canyon Wrens (Catherpes mexicanus)?
  • Christopher Roelandt, University of Michigan-Flint – Using body-condition of the American Woodcock as an indicator of habitat quality
  • Michael Rowley, Villanova University – Investigating cognitive impairment in hybrid chickadee social networks
  • Aaron Skinner, The Ohio State University – Using GPS-tracking to fill knowledge gaps in the full annual cycle of an elusive aerial insectivore in steep decline
  • Luke Wilde, University of South Carolina – Investigating the effects of spatiotemporal predation on the community ecology of the sub-Arctic nesting grounds
  • Jacob Wessels, Arkansas State University – Cerulean Warbler habitat selection, breeding biology, survival, and movement in the Ozark region

from Latin America:

  • *coming soon*



from North America:

  • Ashley Hannah, University of Wisconsin–Madison – Characterizing fledgling survival, habitat use, and movement patterns in the Wisconsin population of Kirtland’s Warblers
  • Mariah Maxwell, Towson University, Maryland – Do costs of incubation limit clutch size in the Mountain Bluebird?
  • Marina Rodriguez, Colorado State University – The effect of calcium availability on longevity of nesting Tree Swallows
  • Lilly Tidwell, East Carolina University – Seasonal adaptive adjustment of nestling provisioning strategy in a multiple-brooded passerine
  • Evalynn Trumbo, University of Illinois – Post-fledging survival and habitat use of the Golden-cheeked Warbler

from Latin America:

  • Macarena Felicitas VazquezUniversidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina – Linking variation in personality traits and parasitic behavior in an avian brood parasite
  • Pablo Elías Muñoz Cambronero, Universidad de Costa Rica – Co-occurrence patterns and forest structure as factors mediating mixed-species flocks through social network analysis
  • Julieta Mallet, Universidad Nacional de La Pampa, Argentina – Evaluación de los servicios ecosistémicos provistos por el Carancho (Caracara plancus) en ambientes agrícolaganaderos del centro de Argentina
  • Patricio David Reyes, Instituto Argentino de Investigaciones de Zonas Aridas, Argentina – Cambios comportamentales en un ave paseriforme para sobrevivir a la antropización del ambiente: el Zorzal Chalchalero como modelo de estudio
  • Ernesto Gustavo Verga, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina – Assessing effects of habitat amount on avian communities across local landscapes in the Chaco forest



from North America:

  • Anna Buckardt, University of Maine – Using geolocator technology to understand Golden-winged Warbler migratory connectivity, habitat use, and overwinter-survival
  • Rebecca GarlingerVillanova University – Dominance and sociality: implications for a moving songbird hybrid zone
  • Holly GarrodVillanova University – Breeding biology and interactions of Hispaniolan todies
  • Eamon HarrityUniversity of Idaho – Dispersal behavior of the Yuma Ridgway’s Rail
  • Danielle Williams, The Pennsylvania State University – Effects of noise from shale gas compressors on breeding songbird behavior

from Latin America:

  • Jorge Avendaño, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia – How do the same traits fix across distinct populations? An experimental evaluation of the role of social selection to explain phenotypic convergence in a Neotropical bird
  • Lia Kajiki, University of Brasilia, Brazil – Natural history and conservation of the Helmeted Manakin (Antilophia galeata) in a cerrado biodiversity hotspot
  • Aldana Lopez, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina – Individual variation in behavior and its relationship with reproductive success in Chilean Swallows (Tachycineta meyeni)
  • Paula Orozco Valor, Universidad Nacional de La Pampa, Argentina – Efectos de la intensificación agrícola sobre la demografía, dieta, cuidado parental y la salud de una rapaz típica de agroecosistemas, el halconcito colorado (Falco sparverius) en el centro de Argentina
  • Juan Manuel Rojas RipariUniversidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina – Relaciones de parentesco y estructura genética intrapoblacional en un ave con cría cooperativa, el Músico (Agelaioides badius)



from North America:

  • Elizabeth Ames, The Ohio State University – Filling in the gaps for full annual cycle conservation of the Prothonotary Warbler: phenology, post-fledging survival, and links to the winter grounds
  • Lee Bryant, Arkansas State University – Is Louisiana Waterthrush fitness and multiscale habitat use altered by Eastern Hemlock decline in Great Smoky Mountains National Park?
  • Clayton Delancey,
  • Katie Schroeder,
  • James Wright, The Ohio State University – Habitat use and migratory stopover ecology of the Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)

from Latin America:

  • Laura Céspedes Arias, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia – Differential introgression of signaling traits across an avian hybrid zone? Implications for speciation
  • Ramiro Santiago ArrietaUniversidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina – Evaluación de los determinantes comportamentales del sistema de apareamiento genético en dos especies de passeriformes del sur templado
  • Paula Sabrina Garrido CoriaUniversidad Nacional de Cuyo, Argentina – Evaluación de la complejidad vocal de la ratona aperdizada: efectos en la defensa territorial y atracción de pareja
  • Facundo Gabriel Di Sallo,  Instituto de Bio y Geociencias del Noroeste Argentino (IBIGEO-CONICET), Argentina – Factores que influyen en la selección de sitios de nidificación de las aves excavadoras del Chaco húmedo argentino: rol de la dureza de la madera
  • Maria Milagros JefferiesUniversidad Nacional de Cuyo, Argentina – Evaluación de las variables determinantes de la probabilidad de depredación de nidos de la Ratona Aperdizada (Cistothorus platensis) en una población del sur templado



from North America:

  • Nikole Freeman, University of Guelph – Effects of the early life environment on physiology and fitness across life-history stages in a resident boreal passerine
  • Jesse Holmes, University of Central Missouri – Establishing baseline temperature and humidity levels in Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) roosts to determine if there is a correlation between microclimate and roost habitat selection during the breeding season
  • Todd Jones, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana – Examining the post-fledging period of migratory birds: do carryover effects from the nestling stage influence fledgling behavior and survival?
  • Steven Sevillano, Cornell University – Seasonal variation and resource partitioning of a Polylepis bird community through and altitudinal gradient
  • Christy Wails, University of New Brunswick – Movement, colony attendance, and behaviour of prospecting Least and Crested Auklets

from Latin America:

  • Fernando Henrique Teófilo de AbreuInstituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Brazil – Influence of hemoparasites (Plasmodium) on plumage coloration in males and its implications on the mechanisms of female choice in Lepidothrix coronata
  • Daniel Pascual Cáceres Apaza, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo & Instituto Argentino de Investigaciones de las Zonas Áridas, Argentina – Evaluation of factors that influence the social mating system in a population of Cistothorus platensis
  • Emiliano Agustín Depino, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina – Vocal interactions between Laterallus melanophaius and L. leucophrys on the coast of the Rio de la Plata, Argentina
  • Cristian Andrés Gorosito, Centro de Investigación Esquel de Montaña y Estepa Patagónica (CONICET-UNPSJB), Argentina – Determinants of reproductive success of Elaenia albiceps in the Andean forests of Patagonia
  • Alejandro Alberto Schaaf, Universidad Nacional de Salta & Program of Biodiversity and Sustainable Development of the Universidad Nacional de Jujuy, Argentina – Relationships among population parameters of cavity nesting birds in Piedmont forests of low forestry intensity in northwestern Argentina



from North America:

  • Santiago David, University of British Columbia – Population and community-level niche conservatism in antbirds (Thamnophilidae) along a tropical elevational gradient
  • Joseph Eisaguirre, Colorado College – Spatial variation of Golden Eagle diet, nest site productivity, and nest area landscape characteristics on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska
  • Katherine Freeman, Villanova University – Impacts of post-fledgling survival on reproductive success in an endangered and cooperatively breeding passerine
  • Vitek Jirinec, College of William and Mary – Wood Thrush habitat use: implications for local distribution
  • Nicholas Moy, Virginia Commonwealth University – Lateral export of algal bloom toxin from stream systems: Effects of microcystin on an insectivorous riparian songbird

from Latin America:

  • Talita Vieira Braga, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Brazil – Consequences of different modes of parental care for avian life histories
  • David Vergara Tabares, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina – Effects of fleshy-fruited invasive plants on frugivorous passerine species: estimating a bird´s immunological and demographic patterns
  • Sofía Zalazar, Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, Argentina – Ecology and conservation of Bare-faced Curassow (Crax fasciolata) in riverine forests of northeastern Argentina



from North America:

  • Rachael Derbyshire, University of Guelph – Examining the hoard-rot hypothesis in a boreal songbird: an experimental test of the food limitation assumption
  • Evan Keleman, Villanova University – Singing behavior in Carolina Chickadees (Poecile carolinensis) is consistent across contexts
  • William Lewis, University of Southern Mississippi – Response of gut microbiota to the energetic demands of long-distance passerine migration
  • Justin Proctor, Cornell University – Uncovering life history traits and conservation strategies for the Golden Swallow, Tachycineta euchrysea, a threatened and endemic passerine on Hispaniola
  • Alex Wang, University of Hawaii – Source and sink or ecological trap? Using juvenile dispersal of an endangered Hawaiian bird to tell the difference

from Latin America:

  • Eugenia Bianca Bonaparte, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina – Use and availability of nesting cavities for the Vinaceous Parrot (Amazona vinacea) in the Atlantic Forest of Argentina
  • Milene Garbim Gaiotti, Universidade de Brasília, Brazil – Mating system of Antilophia bokermanni
  • Emilio Ariel Jordan, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina – Phylogeny, biogeography, and evolution of behaviour in the Doraditos (Pseudocolopteryx spp.)
  • Cynthia Alejandra Ursino, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina – Effects of brood parasitism on social dynamics of a cooperative breeding bird, the Bay-winged Cowbird (Agelaioides badius)