Sonoma Birding’s Rusert awarded

Tom Rusert (second from left) is shown working with Defenders of Wildlife volunteers on a new Burrowing Owl habitat last month in the Valley. This is the first in a series of new artificial habitats being installed by Sonoma Birding in 2011.

Sonoma Birding’s Tom Rusert has been awarded the prestigious 2011 American Birding Association’s Ludlow Griscom Award for Outstanding Contributions in Regional Ornithology. The award, typically given to a person in the science community, came as a complete surprise to Rusert who, as the founder of Sonoma Birding, has worked tirelessly for year in a completely volunteer capacity.
“A lot of the credit for this award goes to my mother and father who instilled in me and my siblings a desire to learn about the environment in which we live and preserve it for future generations,” said Rusert. “Sonoma Birding follows in that path, helping our kids to get outdoors and learn about and respect nature.”
The ABA noted Rusert’s many and varied contributions to the vitalization of birding and birders in Sonoma, particularly for the programs he has initiated to “interest and engage young people all across North America in the appreciation of birdlife.” In addition to founding Sonoma Birding, Rusert established the Audubon Christmas Bird Count in the Valley, the first new CBC in the North Bay in nearly 40 years, as well as the CBC for Kids. Among other things, Rusert has also established the Valley of the Moon Nature Lecture Series which consist of five annual nature lectures with professional presenters.

2 Responses to Sonoma Birding’s Rusert awarded

  1. Joyce Bender says:

    On behalf of all Sonoma County’s Burrowing Owls I want to thank Tom for his enthusiasm, commitment and hard work. This is a rare and potent combination. The award is richly deserved!

  2. Tom is a very worthy recipient of the ABA’s Ludlow Grisom Award. Since creating Sonoma Birding, Tom Rusert, and and friend Darren Peterie, has become a recognized force in bird and wildlife conservation issues not only in Sonoma Valley, but well beyond the borders of our state. His CBC for Kids has been replicated in other states and has received international attention. Congratulations, Tom!