medal presented with aos coues award

AOS’s Coues Award recognizes outstanding and innovative contributions to ornithological research, with no limitation with respect to geographic area, sub-discipline(s) of ornithology, or the time course over which the work was done. It consists of a medal and an honorarium and is named in honor of Elliott Coues, a pioneering ornithologist of the western United States and a founding member of the American Ornithologists’ Union.

Coues Award Nomination Guidelines

Before submitting a nomination, please review the lists of previous recipients below. In recognition of the large number of ornithologists making outstanding contributions to our science, the AOS Council recommends that the Coues Award not be conferred upon the same individual more than once. However, under exceptional circumstances the Council may consider and approve a nomination to confer a second award to an individual, if the new work to be recognized (1) involves a substantially different problem in ornithology than was recognized by the first award and (2) is of significantly greater quality than the work of other eligible ornithologists who have not yet been recognized with the award. Note than nominees for the Coues Award need not be members of AOS at the time of their nomination.

Submit a Nomination

Nominations for AOS Senior Professional Awards are now closed. Please check back in 2020 for the dates of the next nomination cycle.

Nominations must be submitted through our online Member Portal.

  • Clicking “Apply Now” on the page linked above will direct you to a login screen. If you have previously created an account, your Login ID is your email address. After logging in, you will be redirected to the Senior Professional Award nomination page.
  • If you have not previously created an account, click Create Account at the lower left to set up your profile.
  • You can also navigate to the submission page from the Member Portal homepage under “Open Competitions” in the lower right.

To submit a nomination for the Coues Award, you will need to upload 1) a written summary (no more than 2 pages) describing the nominee’s contributions to ornithology and why they should be recognized with the award, and 2) a current CV of the nominee.

Previous Coues Award Winners

2019   Linda Whittingham & Peter Dunn
2018   Peter P. Marra
2017   Kevin J. McGraw
2016   Michael Sorenson
2015   Scott Edwards
2014   Staffan Bensch
2013   Russell Greenberg
2012   F. Gary Stiles
2011   Timothy Birkhead
2010   Robert Montgomerie
2009   Charles R. Brown and Mary Bomberger Brown
2008   P. Dee Boersma
2007   Keith A. Hobson
2006   Sievert A. Rohwer
2005   Nicholas B. Davies
2004   Jared Verner
2003   Donald E. Kroodsma
2002   Jeffrey R. Walters
2001   Raymond A. Paynter, Jr. and Melvin A. Traylor, Jr.
2000   Thomas E. Martin
1999   Sir John R. Krebs
1998   Jared M. Diamond
1997   Chandler S. Robbins
1996   Ellen D. Ketterson
1995   Ian Newton
1994   Wolfgang Wiltschko
1993   Joel L. Cracraft

1992   Frances C. James
1991   John A. Wiens
1990   No Award
1989   Peter Berthold
1988   Ralph W. Schreiber
1987   John C. Wingfield
1986   Fernando Nottebohm
1985   Thomas R. Howell
1984   Thomas J. Cade
1983   Masakazu Konishi
1982   No Award
1981   Amos Ar, Charles Paganelli, and Hermann Rahn
1980   Nicholas E. Collias and Elsie C. Collias
1979   No Award
1978   Joseph J. Hickey
1977   Jean Delacour and Ernst Mayr
1976   Peter Marler
1975   Richard F. Johnston and Robert K. Selander
1975   Walter J. Bock
1974   Robert H. MacArthur
1973   John T. Emlen Jr.
1972   Niko Tinbergen
1972   Alexander Wetmore

    From the field

    I hope you enjoyed this week’s posts! It has been fun working with the many great people who’ve helped make this project happen, and it’s exciting to consider all the research and conservation possibilities that lie ahead. I’ve been focusing on Spotted and Barred Owl ecology, but next year I’m joining @cornellbirds to tackle the challenge of identifying the vocalizations of potentially hundreds of other species that are in the raw audio! Can anyone identify any species in that spectrogram? Photos by Kevin Wood, @whatbirdisthis, & me. #birds #wildlife #science #outdoors #ornithology #birdsong #birdcalls
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[Thanks, @cmmwood! If YOU are an AOS member and would like to be featured here for a week, please get in touch.]Barred Owls are more territorial than Spotted Owls, and having tagged both I can confirm that this aggression carries over to their behavior when handled. I was fortunate to occasionally work with Dennis Rock, who has a wealth of owl capturing experience. When a Barred Owl chomped down on his finger, he told me to just leave it because it would then be easier for me to finish tagging the bird! However, the next season when I took a full fist of talons to my palm, I definitely fixed the problem right away. Later that night we created gloves that provided some protection without impairing dexterity. Photos by @nkryshak. #ornithology #birds #owls #wildlife #science #conservation
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[Our thank to AOS member Connor Wood (@cmmwood), who's taking over this account for the week!]Two years of acoustic surveys showed that the Barred Owl population had increased by a factor of 2.6, which was very concerning. We deployed GPS tags on ten individuals to test the possibility that the population estimates were inflated by a few highly mobile (and very vocal) individuals. All the birds we tagged displayed very stable territories, suggesting that the population had indeed grown between years. This represents a major challenge for Spotted Owl conservation in the Sierra Nevada. For more about this research, check out the press release, linked in AOS's profile! Photo courtesy of @u.s.forestservice. #ornithology #birds #owls #wildlife #science #conservation
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[Our thank to AOS member Connor Wood (@cmmwood), who's taking over this account for the week!]We deployed passive recording units designed and built by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (@cornellbirds). Once the raw audio data was back at base, we compressed the files and copied them onto two sets of hard drives — better safe than sorry! This is a boring part of the job, but when you’re collecting 30 TB of data each year, careful management is really important. We then scanned the data for the vocalizations of Spotted and Barred Owls, and those results allowed us to develop multi-season occupancy models for both species. Picture three is a spectrogram, or visual representation of sound, of a Spotted Owl “four-note” call. Photos by me. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #science #owls
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[Our thank to AOS member Connor Wood (@cmmwood), who's taking over this account for the week!]To assess the status of the Sierra Nevada Barred Owl population, we conducted passive acoustic surveys across over 6,000 square kilometers of mountainous terrain in the Lassen and Plumas National Forests. This meant some great campsite views and, for better or worse, accessing some sites with fatbikes! Photos by me. #ornithology #wildlife #science #ecology #owls #california
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[Our thanks to AOS member Connor Wood (@cmmwood), who's taking over this account for the week!]Over the last century, Barred Owls (first picture) have expanded from their historic range in eastern North America and are now found throughout the Pacific Northwest and northern California. Long-term studies have shown that they outcompete their smaller cousin, the Spotted Owl (second picture). Barred Owls have been documented sporadically in the northern Sierra Nevada since the late 1980s, but until my teams conducted our acoustic surveys, there was no concrete data on their density and distribution in the region. Photos by @dannyhofstadter and myself. #ornithology #birds #wildlife #owls #science #conservation #ecology
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[Our thanks to AOS member Connor Wood (@cmmwood), who's taking over this account for the week!]Hi everyone, I’m Connor Wood (@cmmwood), a PhD student at @uwmadison and AOS member, and I’ll be taking over AOS’s account this week! I use bioacoustics to study Spotted Owls and Barred Owls in California’s Sierra Nevada. Recent advances in bioacoustic hardware and software have opened up exciting new research possibilities in the last few years. I’ll be sharing some photos from my dissertation research, which was the first landscape-scale multi-species owl surveys in the U.S. One paper emerging from that project will be published by AOS’s The Condor this week. Photo by @the.jade.heron. #ornithology #wildlife #birds #owls #science #scientist #stem
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