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The PSO recognizes, on a annual basis, ornithologists and/or amateur birders who have made outstanding contributions to Pennsylvania ornithology. The Earl Poole Award was established in 1995 and first presented at the Society's Annual Meeting at Penn State Hazleton.

This year's winner of the Earl Poole Award is Paul Hess of Natrona Heights, PA. Paul has made many contributions to our understanding of Pennsylvania's birds during the past several decades. He has published an astonishing 17 feature articles in Pennsylvania Birds through 2001, more than any other author. The topics of his articles range from American Tree Sparrow and Red-bellied Woodpecker annual population fluctuations to status of neotropical migrants in Pennsylvania to crossbill and shrike invasions to unusual Pennsylvania records (such as the Hawk Mountain petrel).

Other accomplishments include County Compiler (primarily Butler) for Pennsylvania Birds since its beginning; chair of the Pennsylvania Ornithological Records Committee (PORC) 2000 to present; editor of bird occurrence summaries for Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania (ASWP) Bulletin; News & Notes column for Birding (current); editor of The Peregrine, newsletter of the Three Rivers Birding Club; editor of ASWP Bulletin in 1970s-1980s; seasonal report contributor for American Birds; and Bird Quiz contributor for PSO Newsletter. In addition Paul was a mentor to many young birders in western Pennsylvania in the 1970s and 1980s. He also coproduced a checklist of the birds of Butler County. Paul has clearly enriched Pennsylvania ornithology. In addition to the award plaque, the PSO presented him a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble in appreciation of his contributions. His bibliography in the Society's journal is printed below.

Paul Hess's Bibliography (click to see a more comprehensive list)

Hess, P. 1989. American tree sparrows (Spizella arborea) in Pennsylvania (Part 1): speculation on a 15-year decline, 19731987. Pennsylvania Birds 3(3):90-93.

Hess, P. 1989. American tree sparrows (Spizella arborea) in Pennsylvania (Part 2): large fluctuations add another mystery. Pennsylvania Birds 3(4):122-125.

Hess, P. 1992. The red-bellied woodpecker tumbled in 1990 on southeastern Pennsylvania Christmas Bird Counts. Pennsylvania Birds 6(1):15-17.

Hess, P. 1992. Red-bellied woodpecker 1990 Christmas Bird Count update. Pennsylvania Birds 6(3):106.

Hess, P. 1993. Migrant numbers may not be what they seem. Pennsylvania Birds 7(4):131-132.

Hess, P., and T. Floyd. 1994. Neotropical migrants in Pennsylvania: evidence of absence or absence of evidence? Pennsylvania Birds 8(4):201-203.

Hess, P. 1995. A note on the spring passage. Pennsylvania Birds 9(2):77.

Hess, P. 1995. The "old days": or, how I learned to love the spruce budworm. Pennsylvania Birds. 9(2):124-125. Hess, P. 1995. An unusual song sparrow. Pennsylvania Birds 9(4):191.

Hess, P. 1997. The "Hawk Mountain Petrel": first Pennsylvania record, but which species? Pennsylvania Birds 1 1(1):2-5.

Hess, P., and D. Lauf fer. 1997. A thrush migration pattern over southwestern Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Birds 11(3):144.

Hess, P., M. R. Leahy, and R. M. Ross. 1998. Pennsylvania's crossbill winter of 1997-98. Pennsylvania Birds 12(l):2-6.

Hess, P. 1998. Status and field identification problems of the willet subspecies in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Birds 12(2):4246.

Hess, P. 2000. Pennsylvania's record high northern shrike invasion of 1999-2000. Pennsylvania Birds 14(1):2-10.

Hess, P., and N. Pulcinella. 2000. Tenth report of the Pennsylvania Ornithological Records Committee, February 2001. Pennsylvania Birds 14(4):222-235.

Hess, P., and G. Wilhelm. 2001. Preliminary checklist of the birds of Butler County. Pennsylvania Birds 15(2):85-87.

Hess. P., and N. Pulcinella. 2001. Eleventh report of the Pennsylvania Ornithological Records Committee. Pennsylvania Birds l5(3):149-158.