Carl Zeiss Sports Optics has named Pete Dunne as the winner of a Lifetime Acheivment Award for his body of work in outdoor writing and in the fields of birding, education and wildlife habitat conservation. The award was presented on January 13, 2014 at Zeiss’ annual writers party in Las Vegas, Nevada.
When he was seven years old, Pete Dunne was presented with two instruments that would define his life. One was a pair of binoculars; the other a book—a book about birds. One brought intimacy; the other knowledge and through them the woodlands behind his suburban home became a portal that opened onto a world of discovery and wonders.
Chief Communications Officer of New Jersey Audubon and Director of the Cape May Bird Observatory, Pete Dunne uses his talents and energy to make the natural world real for others. Through books like “Pete Dunne on Birding”, “The Wind Masters” and “Hawks in Flight” , regular columns that have appeared in Birding, Bird Watcher’s Digest, WildBird, Birdwatching, American Birds, Living Bird, the “New Jersey Section” of the New York Times and frequent speaking engagements in the United States, Canada and abroad, he weaves information, insight and even fantasy into a net that captures minds and hearts.
A field birder with an international reputation, he has served on the board of the American Birding Association and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute. As an authority on optics and the optical needs of birders he has served as a marketing and product advisor to several optics companies including ZEISS.
As involved as he is the New Jersey Audubon’s educational programming, Pete takes time to lead an every Monday morning bird walk in season, and in Autumn assist with the Cape May Hawk Count—the count he established 38 years ago. “It keeps me grounded in what is real and what is important,” he explains.
He is also the founder of and a 30-year veteran of the World Series of Birding. Called “The World’s Greatest Natural Treasure Hunt,” the annual event attracts over 100 teams and has raised over $9,000,000 for conservation.
When not working, writing, traveling, or birding Dunne spends his time with wife Linda and the couple’s Cavaliers, Liza and Mackenzie, in the riverside hamlet of Mauricetown, NJ.
New Jersey Audubon President Eric Stiles summarizes, “Pete Dunne is America’s top bird Ambassador. As a writer, speaker and trip leader, Pete has connected generations with the majesty of nature’s feathered ambassadors. I am thrilled that Pete will be transitioning to our Bird Ambassador later this summer, continuing his legacy as mentor, friend and inspiration to so many across North America. NJ Audubon would like to thank Zeiss for supporting our Youth Birding Initiative to continue Pete’s legacy of turning the next generation on to splendor of migration.”
Image courtesy Carl Zeiss Sports Optics