Eric Masterson Honored with Goodhue-Elkins Award

October 14, 2021

Harris Center Land Program Manager Eric Masterson was recently honored with the Goodhue-Elkins Award, given annually by NH Audubon to “an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the study of New Hampshire birds.” The award was presented by Francie Von Mertens, longtime supporter of both NH Audubon and the Harris Center on September 18, 2021.

Eric Masterson releases a rehabilitated hawk back to the wild at the beginning of his 5,000-mile bicycle journey following the migration route of the Broad-winged Hawk from New Hampshire to Panama in 2016. (photo © Meade Cadot)

In their remarks, NH Audubon noted:

Eric arrived in New Hampshire from Ireland in 1999 as a skilled birder who kept a birding journal and sketchbook from an early age. He immediately set about exploring the state and its birdlife and was soon making contributions to its study.

He took on a Breeding Bird Survey route in 2002, and became a regular participant in the local Christmas Bird Count. Reporting sightings to the New Hampshire Bird Records quarterly, he has served on its editorial board, written articles for it, and is now Spring Season Editor, making sense of some 200,000 bird sightings.

In short order, Eric joined the ranks of respected, long-term birders in the state, notable especially in the area of waterfowl migration and pelagic birds. He renewed interest and participation in off-season pelagic birding through his trips on fishing boat charters. As another mark of respect for his deep knowledge of the state’s birds, he was invited to join the New Hampshire Rare Birds Committee.

Judy Davidson also said, “Most birders know Eric. He’s a role model for me. I’ve been on numerous trips to Star Island with his groups. He loves to teach people, and never was disappointed or made me feel stupid if I didn’t know a bird. He’s very passionate about all things birds.”

Congratulations to Eric on this well-deserved honor!