Bob Leberman

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Bob Leberman, long-time bird bander for Carnegie Museum’s Powdermill Nature Reserve in Westmoreland County, received the second annual Earle Poole Award at the PSO’s annual meeting in Slippery Rock this year. Bob was recognized for his long-term efforts to band migratory birds of the Allegheny Plateau and at additional stations in Crawford County and at Presque Isle. To date Bob has banded over 400,000 birds in Pennsylvania and has provided one of the largest data bases for migratory bird movement studies in North America.

Other notable achievements in Bob’s career include publication of both research papers and regional bird guides. His research has focused on body size in hummingbirds, cranial air sacs, and the migration and distribution of birds in Pennsylvania and Belize. He authored 23 species accounts in the Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pennsylvania. He has published checklists of birds of the Ligonier Valley and Belize. In 1988 he completed A Field List of the Birds of Western Pennsylvania and Adjacent Regions.

Bob began his ornithological career with the Meadville Bird and Tree Club, serving as president from 1955 to 1965. He obtained his federal banding permit in 1958 and worked with Jean and Jim Stull in the early years at Presque Isle Banding Station. He has done field work with the well known nature entertainer, Hal Harrison. Few people have monitored and docu-mented bird occurrence, migration, and distribution at the local and regional levels as has Bob. He served as editor-in-chief and publisher of The Sandpiper, covering western Pennsylvania, northeastern Ohio, and western New York during its 17-year run (1957 to 1974). Since 1953 Bob has been sub-regional compiler for American Birds (now North American Birds ) and since inception Westmoreland County’s compiler for Pennsylvania Birds. His Christmas Bird Counts for Linesville span a 30-year period dating to 1955.

Bob has served on the Pennsylvania Biological Survey, Ornithological Technical Committee, and Records Committee (1988-91) as well as the Eastern Bird Banding Association Council as Memorial Grants Chair (early 1970s). He speaks to about 1,000 students/visitors each year in Rector and Pittsburgh and has played a prominent role in the training of several prominent ornithologists including Tom Bancroft, Mary McKitrick, Angelo Caperello, and Bob Mulvihill. Pennsylvania and the region truly have benefited and continue to benefit greatly from his work and commitment to ornithology.