Bill Reid has been the Dean of Wyoming Valley birding for several decades. Bill not only collected a ton of birding records but also coordinated bird data collection for various birding magazines and journals. He represented our state’s records in various versions of American Birds, diligently collecting data from a variety of sources. Bill also ran the Wyoming Valley birding hotline for many years. For the northeastern region, he is irreplaceable. Bill was a master at gentle persuasion. He nudged you to do a little bit more than you thought you could accomplish. Of course, one of the reasons he could convince others to contribute is that he was so productive himself. Bill set an excellent example of how a citizen can contribute more to our common knowledge of birds.
During the first Breeding Bird Atlas, Bill was a one-man wrecking crew for the region that included Luzerne, Wyoming, and Bradford counties. He contributed data to nearly 100 blocks and wrote several of the book’s species accounts, including many of his personal experiences in the field. Bill combined his trips while meeting his obligations as a minister with birding, knocking off an Atlas block on the way to visiting a hospital- or house-bound parishioner. If a member of his congregation was in a particularly good birding area, he may have received more attention from Bill, but I don’t want to start any rumors of favoritism at this point. Those of us involved with the first PBBA know that the northeast area of the state would not have been done without him.