Ornithology awards

Each year the BTO presents 7 awards to those who have made an outstanding contribution to ornithology.

The Tucker and Jubilee Awards

The Jubilee Medal is awarded to individuals who have shown outstanding and committed devotion to BTO, for example through ambassadorial work (giving talks, attending events), organising BTO surveys locally or regionally, fundraising for BTO, surveying particularly challenging areas, data inputting/system testing/archiving/digitising records, writing/contributing to books supporting monitoring schemes, training ringing trainees, contributing as Regional Representatives or leading training courses for BTO.

The Bernard Tucker Medal is awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions to BTO’s scientific work, for example through their contribution to published scientific studies (ornithology), establishment of long-term monitoring projects, establishment/advancement of best practise, establishment and/or development of BTO surveys, contribution of expert knowledge to publications e.g. Atlas species accounts.

View the 2021 award presentation.

The Dilys Breese Medal

Awarded to an outstanding communicator who delivers science to new audiences. The Dilys Breese BTO Medal is awarded on an annual basis by the BTO. Dilys Breese, a former Vice President of the BTO, was a renowned radio and television producer. In her honour the BTO Council created the Dilys Breese BTO Medal.

The Marsh Awards

The Marsh Awards are supported by the Marsh Christian Trust and presented by the BTO at the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) event in October. See below for details of each award.

View the 2021 Awards ceremony.

  • Marsh Award for Ornithology - Awarded to an ornithologist who is making a significant contribution to the field, typically someone who gained a PhD between ten and twenty years prior to the award being made.
  • Marsh Award for Local Ornithology - Awarded to a bird club or group that publishes a book, completes a study or conducts any other exceptional activity in the preceding calendar year that advances knowledge about birds.
  • Marsh Award for Innovative Ornithology - Awarded to an individual or group who have substantially advanced our understanding of avian ecology and whose work positively reflects pioneering work in the field to the wider public.
  • Marsh Award for International Ornithology - Awarded to an individual scientist whose work on the international stage has had significant influence on British ornithology, especially as reflected in the work of BTO scientists and volunteers.
  • Marsh Award for Young Ornithologist - Awarded to an individual (or group of people) under the age of 21 who has/have made a significant contribution to BTO either by contributing to BTO's bird monitoring schemes or by spreading awareness of BTO with their peers, or both. The value of the prize is £500.


Take a look at our list of ornithological award winners including TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham and environmental journalist and author, Mike McCarthy.

How to nominate

You will be able to make nominations via a form on this page which opens towards the end of March each year. The closing date for submissions is usually 31 May each year. The Dilys Breese Medal is nominated by BTO staff and previous medal winners only.

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