Awards and Honors

Awards and Honors
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Peter Pyle receives the Harry S. Swarth Award
at WFO’s annual conference in Fortuna, California.

Peter Pyle has published more than 160 peer-reviewed papers (including more than 30 in Western Birds) and is the author of the ‘bander’s bible,’ the two-volume Identification Guide to North American Birds. He is one of the world’s recognized experts on molt, and on the status and distribution of the birds of Hawaii. His work has greatly improved our understanding of the natural history of seabirds, and has led to the recognition of a new seabird species, Bryan’s Shearwater Puffinus bryani, named after his grandfather.

Peter has served for more than twenty years on the California Bird Records Committee and is a founding member of the Hawaii Bird Records Committee. He is a Research Scientist with the Institute for Bird Populations and a Research Associate with the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, and with the Bishop Museum, Honolulu.

Peter Pyle award

Peter Pyle holds his Swarth Award plaque as WFO President Dave Quady displays
Tom Schultz’s print of an adult Sabine’s Gull in flight, presented to commemorate
Peter’s receipt of the Harry S. Swarth Award. Photo by © Ron LeValley

Chris SwarthIn 2011 Western Field Ornithologists established the Harry S. Swarth Award in Western Field Ornithology, to honor a body of work that significantly advances field ornithology in the west. The award’s name commemorates Harry S. Swarth (1878–1935), a giant of field ornithology who worked in much of western North America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and who contributed more than 200 publications to the literature. He was memorialized in The Auk and in The Condor.


Harry Swarth’s grandson, Chris Swarth, enlivened the ceremony by presenting a brief biographical sketch of his grandfather, which you can read here. Photo by © Ron LeValley