Photograph of California Condor - (c) Tara Tanaka

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Photo of James Graham Cooper
The Cooper Ornithological Society (COS) commemorates an early western naturalist, Dr. James G. Cooper. Grounded in natural history and the application of sound science to our understanding of avian biology, the COS has grown from a small band of naturalists in 1893 to the internationally recognized scientific society it is today. Since its inception, the COS has worked to disseminate ornithological knowledge, mentor young professionals, and promote the conservation of birds and wildlife in general.

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Beginning in 2014, the Society’s journal, The Condor: Ornithological Applications, refocused itself and began publishing research on avian conservation and other applied topics in avian biology. The journal aims to reach both research biologists and practitioners. For example, a perspective and research article on bird-building collisions and bird mortality was followed a few weeks later by a thought-provoking commentary on how professional ornithological societies might play an active role in providing essential information to decision-makers without taking advocacy positions – a way for our scholarly activity and expertise to make real world differences for birds. The Condor: Ornithological Applications is co-published with The Auk: Ornithological Advances, which features original research that advances fundamental scientific knowledge of bird species.

The COS also publishes Studies in Avian Biology, a long-running, award-winning book series. Recent volumes have focused on emerging questions in avian disease, the ecology of urban birds, and better understanding of the ecology of birds in sensitive ecosystems. Chapters include exciting topics tied directly to avian conservation, including migration phenology and climate change; the ecology and conservation of North American sea ducks; and Golden-winged Warbler ecology, conservation, and habitat management (spring 2016).

The COS has long encouraged student interests in birds. Students are eligible for research awards that include the Mewaldt-King Award, which supports conservation-oriented research, and the Joseph Grinnell Award, which supports research in any area of avian biology. Student involvement in scientific meetings is promoted by way of travel awards, reduced registration costs, awards for best presentations, and early career mentoring activities.

The COS recognizes colleagues for their outstanding scientific contributions to ornithology by way of several professional awards. The Loye and Alden Miller Research Award is given for lifetime achievement in ornithological research. The Katma Award, proposed and sponsored by Dr. Robert W. Storer, is intended to encourage the formulation of new ideas that could change the course of thinking about the biology of birds. The Painton Award is a cash prize given only in odd-numbered years to the author of an outstanding paper published in the four preceding years in The Condor that made an extraordinary contribution to ornithology. The Young Professional Presentation Award (YPA) recognizes early-career ornithological researchers for their outstanding scientific research and contributions to the ornithological profession. Two YPA awardees are selected among applicants to deliver 30 minute presentations at the annual meeting in the Young Professional Award Plenary session. YPA awardees also receive a cash prize, travel support to the meeting, and are guests at a reception held in their honor.

Our annual meetings, co-hosted with the American Ornithologists’ Union (AOU), provide a productive and rewarding opportunity to share your science while networking with other ornithologists. The COS also sponsors more local/regional conferences and workshops often designed to focus attention on specific issues in avian biology. Every four years, we meet with other North American ornithological societies to host the North American Ornithological Conference (NAOC), and join with societies from around the world to help sponsor the International Ornithological Congress.

We are committed to the conservation and management of bird species and enjoy a long standing tradition of good science on public lands in the Americas. Active involvement in ornithology and generation of high quality science is more critical today than ever before. You are encouraged to become active in the Cooper Ornithological Society and to share your science in the society’s publications.

A gateway to ornithological societies and resources that promote the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of bird species and their populations

© 2016 American Ornithologists' Union
and Cooper Ornithological Society