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 1 February). Latin American applications  are due 15 July.


Previous Award Recipients

Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s Bergstrom Awards!

2015 North American Recipients
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.


2015 Latin American Recipients
Fernando Henrique Teófilo de Abreu (Instituto 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.