Sunday, October 7, 2012


The month of October 2012 we are devoting to Roger Tory Peterson. Members may read All Things Reconsidered, a collection of his previously published Birdwatcher's Digest columns selected by his publisher Bill Thompson III.  Click here for a review from the Seattle Times.
Also of interest is the biography Birdwatcher by Elizabeth Rosenthal which has earned much praise. If that is too much to chew, the site of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History has a short biography page and a nice collection of quotes. A sampling:

 “Birding, after all, is just a game. Going beyond that is what is important.”
The Daily Reflector, Greenville, NC Nov. 6, 1988

“A naturalist must always be a realist.”
New York Alive, Jan-Feb, 1988

“Butterflies fly too; they are elegant and vibrant, but they don’t sing. And flowers, lovely though they may be, are rooted to the earth. To me, as a youngster, chafing under the regimentation of the classroom and the demands of a stern father, birds seemed to have it all. They are attractive, they sound off with spirit, and they can fly wherever they choose, whenever they choose. Ever since that day in April, well over sixty years ago, birds have dominated my daily thoughts, filled my dreams, and dominated my reading.”
A speech to the NYS Legislature, Albany, NY, June 17, 1987

“Reluctant at first to accept a straitjacket of a world I did not comprehend, I finally, with the help of my hobby, made some sort of peace with society.”
Used in US News & World Report article, Aug.12, 1996

“Watching birds has sharpened my senses, made my hearing far more acute than most, my eyes more perceptive, my reactions quicker. This awareness has radiated far beyond the birds, embracing nearly everything that is alive, from my fellow humans to the least beetle or cricket.”
A speech to the NYS Legislature, Albany, NY, June 17, 1987

“Birds, with their high rate of metabolism and furious pace of living, demonstrate perhaps better than any other animals the life forces. They are indicators, quickly reflecting changes in the environment that we all share. They are sort of an early warning system, sending out signals when things are out of kilter.”
A speech to the NYS Legislature, Albany, NY, June 15, 1987

“It is inevitable that the perceptive person who watches birds, or mammals, or fish, or butterflies, becomes an environmentalist.”
A speech to the NYS Legislature, Albany, NY, June 15, 1987

“I am first a teacher.”
At the 10-12-96 RTPI Board of Trustees meeting Virginia Peterson stated that RTP often said this.

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