Dr. Robert Montgomery Bird, 61, director of the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications of the National Institutes of Health, died Friday in Allentown, Pa., after a heart attack. He lived in Bethesda.

A native of Charlottesville, Dr. Bird received a degree in medicine from the University of Virginia in 1939. During World War II, he served in the Army Medical Corps and reaches the rank of major.

After the war, Dr. Bird entered private pratice in New York and served on the medical faculty of Cornell University.In 1952, he joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, where he served more than 20 years.

From 1965 to 1970, he was chief of the hematology section at the university, and in 1970, was named dean of the College of Medicine.

In December, 1974, Dr. Bird came to NIH to head the biomedical communications center, which is part of the National Library of Medicine. He directed research and development programs designed to apply modern communications methods to health care research, education and pratice.

The author of more than 50 articles in medical journals, Dr. Bird was a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Society for Hematology, the Oklahoma Medical Society and the American Physiological Society.

Dr. Bird received the University of Oklahoma Regents Award for superior teaching and was a governor of the American College of Physicians in Oklahoma.

Survivors include a sister, Page Bird Woods, of Richmond, and two nephews.

Expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions of the Robert Montgomery Bird Society, care of the dean's office, University of Oklahoma Medical Center, Oklahoha City.