The Jerry Liguori Raptor Conservation and Education Scholarship was created to honor Jerry and his contributions to raptor conservation by creating a way for his work to continue in perpetuity. The fund supports research, professional development, and educational experiences centered around raptor migration, identification, and natural history. It is uniquely focused on supporting equity in access and opportunities for all to experience raptors, including students of all ages, those just entering the raptor field, novices, and professionals.
This page outlines information about the purpose of this funding opportunity, the types of projects that will be considered for funding, and how to submit a compelling proposal. If you have questions that are not addressed here, please direct them to .
There was almost nothing that Jerry Liguori loved more in life than raptors. From the moment he laid eyes on a group of Turkey Vultures soaring at eye-level at the young age of 16, he was hooked. He was mesmerized by their graceful, buoyant flight, and enamored by their size. The experience catapulted Jerry on a lifelong journey of studying raptors across North America.
That journey did not stop at contributing to scientific research and becoming an expert in his field. Jerry also used his skills in raptor identification and photography to educate the public. With hawks soaring above us each day, Jerry realized the power that raptors had to inspire. These magnificent birds were the perfect way to draw people into nature and conservation.
Jerry inspired tens of thousands of people together to conserve raptors and our shared environment during his career. As raptors around the globe face a growing number of threats, it is imperative that we continue his work. By introducing people to, educating them about, and supporting people in their own research on raptors, we aim to protect raptors in perpetuity, in honor of Jerry's legacy.
Awarded each fall to celebrate the annual fall migration of raptors, the Jerry Liguori Scholarship will provide approximately $10,000 in funding in 2022, with average awards ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. The goal is to support raptor-centered efforts in the three areas Jerry was most passionate about:
Studying the nuanced shapes, behaviors, and features unique to different raptors is a life-long endeavor. Jerry was passionate about supporting those just beginning to learn raptor identification, as well as conducting novel research to learn more about the phylogeny of species.
Counting Migrating Raptors
Jerry knew that scanning the huge sky and using inflight identification skills to document migration was both fun and critical for science. That skill development—and the information it uncovers—is critical to the appreciation and conservation of raptors.
Educating People about Raptors
At any given point in time, there is a good chance that if you look up, you’ll see a raptor. Jerry knew that this accessibility meant that introducing people to raptors can open them to a whole new world where nature and conservation are witnessed and appreciated.
The Jerry Liguori Raptor Conservation and Education Scholarship aims to fund projects that:
- Closely align with Jerry's areas of interest (listed above)
- Can be largely supported by funding from the scholarship
- Not supported through traditional funding sources
How & When To Apply Timeline
The committee is reviewing pre-proposals and will soon invite the top-scoring proposals to submit more information, including a more detailed project description and budget. Full proposals are due August 1, 2022. Awards will be made no later than August 31, 2022.
What The Grant Won’t Fund
We will not fund projects that:
- Take place outside North America (work in Canada and Mexico IS permissible!)
- Support minors, unless they have an adult co-applicant
- Are solo or group trips simply to watch hawks for fun
- Request funding to purchase personal optics/camera equipment
- Request funding for full season support for counters at an existing/established watch site
- Would require special federal and/or state permitting (e.g., for raptor handling), unless those permits were already secured prior to grant application submission
- Are not approved by the committee/committee leadership
This scholarship is funded by HawkWatch International, with the generous support of our donors, as well as a portion of the proceeds from the sale of images in our private Jerry Liguori photography collection.
Want to play a role in protecting raptors in perpetuity? You can make a tax-deductible gift directly to the Jerry Liguori Scholarship at www.hawkwatch.org/jerry.