The Maryland Ornithological Society (MOS) Awards Program serves the State MOS and its Chapters.  Awards are prepared at the request of the Chapters, State Committee Chairpersons, and the State Officers.  Usually the awards are given to members of MOS, but on occasion MOS recognizes non-members who have been kind or generous to the Society, hosted an unusual bird, or made a contribution to the environment, to conservation, or to the birding community.

Most of the awards we prepare are paper certificates, and there is no charge to the Chapters.  However, if the award involves MOS mugs, walnut plaques, acrylic “sign holders,” picture frames, and so forth, there is a charge for the cost of those items.

The MOS has three primary award certificates:

  1. The Valued Service Award: This is our formal certificate. It’s usually given to someone for outstanding sustained performance in some role or capacity.  It has an embossed MOS gold seal in the lower middle center of the certificate.  It is presented in an elegant dark-blue presentation folder with the MOS seal in gold on the front.  The award is accompanied by a “Valued Service Award” lapel pin.
  2. The Attagirl/Attaboy Award: A light-hearted certificate.  Usually it is awarded for performance over a short period of time, and given to recognize hard work, perhaps at a new job, or for a specific task well done.  It is usually (but not always) presented in an acrylic “sign holder.”
  3. The Blood, Sweat and Tears Award: This is a humorous certificate that recognizes someone who rolled-up their sleeves and tackled a hard, gritty, unglamorous job. It’s a comical certificate, torn, stained, and wrinkled.  It is usually (but not always) presented rolled-up in an MOS coffee mug, and tied with a strip of frayed bandana.

Other types of awards that we prepare are Certificate of Appreciation, Conservationist of the Year, Distinguished Service Award, Friend of the Society, Bird of the Year, Rookie (birder) of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Feeder Champion, List of the Year, and so forth.  We’re happy to work with you to create an award that meets your specific needs.

All awards need to be approved by the President or President-elect of the State organization or the Chapter.

In addition to preparing awards for Chapters, we also are willing to give advice and assistance if you are in need of other types of awards such as trophies and plaques.

If you would like additional information, have questions, or would like to discuss awards, please email