Roger Tory Peterson

The King Penguin

Today is the anniversary of the death of Roger Tory Peterson of Peterson's Field Guide to Birds fame - he was born in 1908.
A son of Jamestown, New York, Roger, helped new generations of people fall in love with ornithology. Roger not only wrote the guides, but he also illustrated them. He was the noted American naturalist who brought the natural world to the masses in the 20th century.
Roger admired the gumption of the common starling. He felt blue jays had "a lot of class," and he said the house sparrow was "an interesting darn bird."
Roger once famously described a purple finch as a "Sparrow dipped in raspberry juice (male)."
When it came to the Audobon Oriole, Roger quipped that its song was like "a boy learning to whistle."
What was Roger Tory Peterson's favorite bird? The King Penguin.
Here are some famous Peterson quotes:

"Few men have souls so dead that they will not bother to look up when they hear the barking of wild Geese."
"Birds have wings; they're free; they can fly where they want when they want. They have the kind of mobility many people envy."
"Birds are indicators of the environment. If they are in trouble, we know we'll soon be in trouble."

And finally, the book, The World of Roger Tory Petersonis worth a read if you can get hold of a copy.

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Roger Tory Peterson
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