Leonard Peyton

Leonard Peyton

Leonard Peyton, noted Alaskan bird bander and bird song recorder died on December 10, 2010 at the age of 86. He is the son of Sidney Peyton and Susie James Peyton of Fillmore California. He was the remaining survivor of four children, Sidney Jr, Donetta Simonson, and Anita Johnson. He attended local schools and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Management, at Utah State University in 1951, following service in the Army Air Corps, primarily in the Southwest, where he served in the training command.
His interest in birds began when he went with his father, Sidney Peyton, into the hills of the Los Padres National Forest in California on egg collecting ventures, an acceptable hobby during the first of the century. His collection is part of the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, Camarillo, California. Sidney was the local authority on the Condor population, maintaining a record of the bird sightings.
Leonard’s love of birds influenced the rest of his life, taking him to Alaska. He took a position at the Arctic Health Research Center as part of the Physiology Team. 1962, Dr Irving, with four staff members, moved to Fairbanks to begin the Zoophysiology Lab at the University of Alaska, concentrating on studies of cold adaptation. Over the years this developed into the Institute of Arctic Biology. Peyton continued the migration/vocalization studies. He continued to band birds as a hobby after his retirement, concentrating on the Redpoll. In his lifetime, he banded 49,059 birds. As part of their migration work Peyton was a pioneer in recording bird songs. The Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell University is the repository for his vocalizations, and has produced a CD with most of the recordings credited to Peyton. He has recorded over 7000 birdsongs. He enjoyed river boating, hunting, fishing, traveling and gardening. The Peytons traveled extensively in the US, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Tasmania, Bali, China, Cambodia, Thailand, Egypt. and the Galapagos.
Leonard is survived by his wife, Irene, his daughter Sarah and son-in-law Matt, his son James and daughter-in-law Jennifer, and two grandchildren, Elena and Nick.
Memorial services have not been planned at this time. Memorials may be sent to the Alaska Bird Observatory, PO Box 80505, Fairbanks, AK 99708