People passionate about nature

Ralph Bird Award

If you would like to nominate someone for a Nature Manitoba Award please review our nomination info here.

About Ralph Bird

Dr. Ralph Bird was born at Arrow River, Manitoba in 1901, and spent most of his working career in this province employed as an entomologist by the Canadian Department of Agriculture. All his life he had a keen interest in natural history, especially birds, and the interrelationships between living things and their environment.

Ralph studied at the University of Manitoba, receiving both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in science. He spent summers working under the direction of the pioneer entomologist, Norman Criddle. His doctoral work was at the University of Illinois, where his thesis work “Biotic communities of the Aspen Parkland of Central Canada” became the authoritative work on the ecology of the region. In 1961, Ralph wrote a book titled The Ecology of the Aspen Parkland in Western Canada, which was used as a standard reference text in many universities.

Ralph Bird was a dedicated naturalist and loved to be outdoors as much as possible. He shared his knowledge freely, both informally on field trips and in his talks and articles in natural history publications. He encouraged an interest in natural history in people of all ages. Throughout his life he maintained a strong interest in conserving our natural heritage, and did not hesitate to express his concern to those in authority when he perceived deleterious changes being made to the environment.

Ralph Bird Award Criteria

The Ralph Bird Award was created in 1985 by a group of his colleagues to recognize the contribution that Ralph Bird made has made to natural history in Western Canada. 

  • amateur naturalist
  • can be a member or non-member
  • outstanding contributions to natural history conservation in Western Canada in two or more of the following areas:
  1. superior observation, recording or research accomplishments
  2. contributions to natural history or environmental literature
  3. rare species observation
  4. contributions to herbaria and/or collections
  5. environmental enhancement and the creation of new reserves, preserves or sanctuaries and maintenance of landscape diversity
  6. other natural history contributions within the spirit of in tent of this award, as deemed appropriate by selection committee
  • preference may be given to nominations relating to awards in Manitoba

Previous recipients 

Write-ups for recepients have been included when available (below), and are re-printed from the time of their submission. Write-ups are not updated. 

JACK, John & Ella                                           


ISAAK, Henry                                                  


SHORTT, Angus                                              


FINLAY, Audrey Joy                                        


HOUSTON, Dr. Stuart                                     


HOSFORD, Harold                                          


ROWE, J. Stan                                                 


MOSQUIN, Ted                                              


DANYLUK, Walter                                          


WALDON, Robert                                           


SCHRITT, Al & Dot                                          


HENSEL, Henry                                               


TAYLOR, Robert                                             


REAUME, Tom                                                


KOES, Rudolf


GRIEEF, Paula                                                 


AMES, Doris                                                   


STEWART, Barb & Rob                                   


COCKS, Lewis                                                 


MACHOVEC, Frank