Duluth’s Laura Erickson Wins Prestigious Birding Award

Duluth birder Laura Erickson has won the Roger Tory Peterson Award from the American Birding Association. (Russell Erickson photo)

Duluth birder and birding author Laura Erickson has won the Roger Tory Peterson Award from the American Birding Association for “a lifetime of achievements in promoting the cause of birding,” according to the association. She’s the author of several books on birding and hosts the long-running “For The Birds” radio program. She also writes a blog that features photos of birds. She writes a column for BirdWatching magazine and is a contributor to the American Birding Association blog.

“Laura has for many years reached out to non-birders to encourage their interest in birds and birding…” the ABA wrote in recognizing Erickson.

Erickson is the first woman to receive the Roger Tory Peterson Award. Peterson was the author of the Peterson Field Guide to the Birds of North America.”

“When I was a college student, my mother-in-law gave me binoculars and the Peterson field guide to birds for Christmas,” Erickson said. “They opened the most amazing world to me, and ever since, I’ve made it my goal to open up that world to everyone else. I’m thrilled beyond measure that the American Birding Association gave me this honor, named for the very man whose field guide was the first I ever opened — my passport into the world of birds.”

Erickson is the author or co-author of the “National Geographic Pocket Guide to Birds of North America (2013),” “The Bird Watching Answer Book: Everything You Need to Know to Enjoy Birds in Your Backyard and Beyond (2009),” “101 Ways to Help Birds (2006),” and “Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids,” which won the National Outdoor Book Award for 1997.

She recently completed a birding “big year,” identifying 593 species of birds in the Lower 48 states during 2013, many of them species of conservation concern.