Jack Holcomb

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The Awards Committee is pleased to announce that Jack Holcomb of West Reading is the winner of the Earl Poole Award. Birding would not be the vibrant, growing hobby it is today in southeastern Pennsylvania were it not for Jack Holcomb.

Jack is well known in southeastern Pennsylvania among novice and backyard birdwatchers as the host of a radio talk show about birds. He was somewhat of a trailblazer (and not yet a birder!) when the show began in the 1960s. His enthusiasm carried his daily Birdtalk program to unexpected popularity on WEEU. For decades, every day at 11 a.m., people across eastern and central Pennsylvania would tune in to catch up on rare bird reports, tips on feeders and feeding, news of upcoming field trips (many of which he led), and phone calls from most of the top birders and ornithologists in the region. Now in semi-retirement, Jack is best known for his Saturday morning radio show called “Jack’s Backyard” where his call-in show focuses on birds and birdwatching.

Jack has also been active in educating people about birds through his volunteer work at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary where he serves on the board. His friendly, outgoing, and approachable nature allows people to feel comfortable asking him just about anything.

Jack has also been active with the local bird club, The Baird Club, served as their president for several years, and participates in several local Christmas bird counts regularly. During the 1980s and 1990s he often gave public talks at retail stores and civic clubs about birds, bird-feeding, bird identification, and other topics. He is best known for providing information on how to attract birds to your backyard.

Jack Holcomb is an institution in radio, and he made birdwatching and birds accessible and interesting to a wide and diverse public. The “ripple” effect from his educational outreach is undoubtedly greater than any of us can measure.