Thursday, May 26, 2011

Judy Richardson: International Cooperation Award Recipient

Judy Richardson, master bird bander and Chairman of the Connecticut Audubon Society Fairfield Regional Board received an International Cooperation Award from the US Department of Agriculture for her significant contribution to the establishment of a Network of Bird Monitoring in Costa Rica. This 2011 Conservations Award is part of the “Wings Across the Americas” program which is a United States Forest Service program to conserve birds, bats, butterflies and dragonflies. Wings Across the Americas supports international conservation and uses Forest Services experience and expertise to improve bird conservation at home and abroad.

In Latin America, a big leap in the collection and sharing of data is found in the establishment of the Network of Bird Banders of Costa Rica. Richardson’s work with the San Vito Bird Club in the establishment of a network of bird monitoring in Costa Rica won her international recognition. The first of its kind in Latin America, the network has been a model for others in the region and facilitates cooperative research projects. Results are being used by bird researchers, land mangers and decision makers in Costa Rica and throughout the Americas for understanding resident and migratory species.

On a local level, here in the U.S., Richardson monitors birds through her bird banding efforts at the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Birdcraft Museum and Sanctuary in Fairfield. “Many of the birds that migrate to Costa Rica may actually pass through our Birdcraft sanctuary.” states Nelson North Connecticut Audubon Society, Director of Fairfield Operations, “Judy’s bird banding efforts at the Birdcraft are instrumental in the monitoring process. Her work here and in Costa Rica will continue to expand our comprehension of the biology and life histories of our birds, ultimately resulting in their improved conservation.”

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