Egon Schmidt was born on June 16, 1931 in Budapest. He spent his childhood in Bachili, and then attended secondary school in Nagykanisa. From 1954 he worked at the Budapest Zoo and Botanical Garden, then at the Hungarian Ornithological Institute and, since 1980, a specialist reviewer for the journal Állatvilág. In addition to studies of avian ecology, he has researched the feeding of native owl species for years and is a recognized expert on domestic thrush. He made important achievements in the field of bird discrimination by coordinating bird ringing in Hungary.
Egon Schmidt was a founding member of the Hungarian Society for Ornithology and Nature Conservation, then its vice-president and, since 2012, its honorary president.
His professional activity has also been recognized internationally, as he has been asked to write a species study of the blue tit, the black warbler and (with co-author Tibor Farkas) the stone warbler in the Neue Brehm Bücherei series. Between 1951 and 2006, 125 papers were published in the Ornithological Institute’s journal Aquila. His literary work consists of nearly 100 books and more than 3,500 informational articles. For 17 years he created – together with István Balogh – material rich in bird sound recordings for the weekly Hungarian radio program Oxigén.
“Schmidt-Egon set an example in love of nature and humanity, and his personality provided inspiration to generations of conservationists. An entire generation of conservationists and local nature conservation activists grew up in his writings and lectures,” the salutation states.
His work was recognized in 1993 with a Pro Natura commemorative plaque and in 2009 with a Kossuth Prize. In 2015, he was awarded the Ferencváros Prize for Environment and Nature Protection, which was renamed the Ferencváros Schmidt Egon Prize from the following year, KIM said in a statement.
“Friendly thinker. Wannabe social media geek. Extreme student. Total troublemaker. Web evangelist. Tv advocate.”