The 2006 winner of PA Society for Ornithology’s Earl L. Poole Award is Margaret Higbee of Indiana, PA. The Poole Award is given annually to an individual, amateur or professional, for outstanding contributions to ornithology in PA.
Margaret and her husband, Roger, moved to Indiana in 1982, joined the recently formed Todd Bird Club, and organized the Indiana Christmas Bird Count in 1983. Earlier that same year, the Higbees adopted their first Breeding Bird Survey route and currently run six BBS routes each year. Margaret and Roger coordinated Region 31 during the first PA Breeding Bird Atlas and coordinate DeLorme page 59 for the current atlas. She also coordinated Todd Bird Club’s data collection efforts for the Yellow Creek State Park (YCSP) Special Areas Project and used the data to create the Checklist of Birds of Yellow Creek State Park. Margaret and Roger have been active in PSO since its inception. Margaret is Armstrong and Indiana County compiler for Pennsylvania Birds magazine, and has served as editor of The PSO Pileated every year but one. She has also been newsletter editor for Todd Bird Club since 1985.
Margaret has given educational programs at YCSP, Blue Spruce County Park, all but one of the county nursing homes and all of the Indiana School District’s elementary schools. She leads outings to YCSP on most Tuesdays of the year. Margaret and Roger have led many field trips locally and to more distant places like Presque Isle, the Niagara region, New Jersey, and Michigan.