Opportunity Grant


Guidelines for Grant Applicants

1) Grant money shall only be used for projects designed to benefit the conservation of native bird species, particularly those that reside in Georgia on a seasonal or annual basis, or those that visit stopover habitats in Georgia during migration.

2) This grant source is available to individuals, clubs, and organizations such as non-profit groups  who are doing citizen science research or public education/awareness about birds and bird conservation.  This grant is not intended to support university or graduate student research, or research or management performed by federal or state agencies.

Note: If you are an undergraduate or graduate student, please apply for a Norene Boring Undergraduate Grant  or Howe or Terrell Graduate Student Research Grants.  If you are an organization seeking funds in excess of $5000, and your project pertains to management actions on behalf of bird conservation, then please apply for the Bill Terrell Avian Conservation Grant.

3) Applications on behalf of projects to be funded with these grants should limit requests to a maximum of $5,000 from GOS. Applications that feature matching funding are more likely to be supported.

4) Application content should pertain to actual implementation of bird conservation projects, research projects, or public education/awareness projects, etc., that are specifically focused on the conservation of birds in Georgia.

Examples of previous grant recipients:

- bird surveys (point surveys, banding, etc.) within Important Bird Areas (IBAs)

- chick mortality studies

- how to help birds brochures, posters and signs

- public education programs

- physiological and behavioral research projects (habitat requirements, predators, feral cats, etc.)

5) The grant will not be used to fund any salaries, and it is not to be used to fund any overhead costs, or indirect costs such as insurance or vehicle maintenance expenses. To receive the actual grant funds, the grantee must submit receipts to the GOS Treasurer that reflect actual expenses incurred as a result of the project. These expense receipts should be submitted within 18 months of the grant award date. If receipts amount to less than the grant award total, then the grant will be limited to the amount actually spent.

6) The typewritten grant application, not to exceed 6 pages, should include a description of the project, list of objectives, criteria for evaluating success of the project, literature citations, an itemized budget, a statement of other financial support, and a brief resume of the applicant. Applications can be made anytime during the year. Grants will be considered as long as funds are available for the year. Grant decisions/awards shall be made within 60 days following the application submission.

7) The committee is authorized to determine the amount to be granted per deserving applicant. In some cases the committee may decide to reward that application with the entire grant budget for that year. In cases where  there are multiple quality applications,  the committee might  distribute the grant total among them. If suitable applications are not received, the committee may elect to not award any money in a given calendar year. The total amount available from this grant source in a typical year is $5,000-10,000.

8) At the end of the grant period, the grantee is required to submit to the Lydia Thompson Grant Committee a detailed report of project results and grant expenditures.

9) The grant recipient may be asked to present the results of his or her project at a GOS meeting, as a formal presentation or as a scientific poster.

Applications may be submitted in one of two ways:

1. Use this fillable PDF form, create any additional documents and email them to Dan Vickers, 

2. Print and fill out the form above, add additional documents and mail them to: 

Dan Vickers
2223 Kodiak Drive, NE
Atlanta, GA 30345 

Grant applications will be reviewed and evaluated by the three-person Lydia Thompson Grant Committee. The chairperson shall be appointed by the GOS president  who will the select two committee members. In the event that there is a conflict of interest involving an applicant and a committee member, the committee member shall recuse himself or herself from the review process for that application. If a committee member must be recused, the chairperson or acting chairperson shall recommend a temporary replacement for the president’s concurrence.

YearRecipient and Project
2022 Christopher B. Mowry, Ph.D. (Berry College) - Motus Tracking Stations
2021 Georgia Audubon – Project, Bird-friendly native plant demonstration garden along the Atlanta Beltline
2020 None
2019 Atlanta Audubon Society – Project, Construction of a Chimney Swift tower at Henderson Park
2018 Atlanta Audubon Society – Project, Eliminating bird collisions at the visitor's center of the Melvin L. Newman Wetlands Center
2017 None

Evan Pittman (JIBS) – Project, Replace boardwalk to the Jekyll Island banding station

Megan Heberle, M.Ed., Islands High School – Study, Install and monitor nest boxes to replace loss of habitat due to construction


Kenneth Blankenship – Project, To digitize and coordinate the bird specimens in the collections of the Georgia Museum of Natural History

Sharna Tolfree, NC Museum of Natural Sciences – Study, “Winter Habitat Use and Requirements of a Declining Neotropical Migrant: Golden-winged Warbler”

2014 None
2013 None 
2012 None 
2011 Nico Dauphine, Ph.D. – Study, “Effects of subsidized predators on bird populations in an urban matrix”
2010 Atlanta Audubon Society – Project, Educational materials and full-color publication, “Georgia’s Grassland Birds”

DeeAnne Meliopoulos – Study, “AMOY Chick Mortality”

Charlie Muise – Project, Grassland banding at Panola Mountain State Park and Joe Kurz WMA


Atlanta Audubon Society – Project, 20-page, full-color publication, “Georgia’s Common Birds in Decline”

Flint RiverQuarium – Project, Aviary educational materials


Roarke Donnelly, Oglethorpe University – Project, Chinese Privet removal

Charles M. Muise - Project, Winter Monitoring of Northern Saw-whet Owls in Lamar County

Anne Shenk, State Botanical Garden of Georgia – Project, Educational Materials, “Our Shared Forest”

Atlanta Audubon Society – Project, Master Birder Program