Young Birder Optics Award

Dear Birders,

The Georgia Ornithological Society (GOS) is a strong proponent of educating young people about birds and encouraging them to get involved in birding, ornithology, and conservation. Many serious young birders do not have opportunities to acquire quality optics to help them identify birds, grow their passion for feathered creatures, and contribute to bird study. Therefore, GOS, with generous support from the Zeiss Group, is establishing annual Young Birder Optics Awards to help these birders to acquire quality binoculars and spotting scopes.


Two optics will be awarded each year, one to a birder aged 15-19 and one to a birder aged 20-25. If there are no applicants for one of these age ranges in a particular year and multiple applicants from the other, then GOS may choose to provide both awards to one age group. The award will consist of a Zeiss Conquest HD binocular (valued at up to $999). GOS will also award a spotting scope and tripod (valued at up to $2,500). In some years GOS may choose to award two binoculars or two scopes and tripods, depending on the needs of the award-winning applicants. The award recipients will be announced at the society's meeting in May 2022. Winners do not have to be present at that meeting to receive the awards. The recipients must be Georgia residents and members of GOS.

How to be considered:

Potential awardees must be nominated via three letters (at least one from a GOS member; only one can be from a relative). The letters should describe:

a) The seriousness of birder: how long she/he has been birding, species seen, society/club memberships, evidence of teaching others about birds and birding, and birding/ornithological involvement (e.g., surveys done, CBC participation, field trips led, GOS meetings attended, clubs started, volunteer work at a banding station, etc.).

b) Define the nominee's need: what model is she/he using now and financial circumstances that exclude getting high quality optics.

c) Career goals in relation to birds/biology/other natural resources field: will the nominee put good optics to use to contribute to bird conservation through study, teaching, or other means?

Nomination letters are due on 15 March. Send the letters in PDF format (subject: Young Birder Optics Awards) to:

Bob Sargent
Education Committee Chair, GOS
Macon (Bibb County)