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80 years of field guides

Posted on May 4, 2014

Roger Tory Peterson’s A Field Guide to the Birds was released on April 27, 1934. This past Thursday Twan posted this photo on our Facebook page to commemorate passing the date on “Throwback Thursday”.

Roger Tory Peterson's A Field Guide to the BirdsThe original guide was a catalyst that started miraculous things on many levels – from sparking a passion for bird watching in millions to providing the conservation movement a tool to support environmental awareness, understanding and stewardship. I made sure to follow that up with a personal story…

Field guides Scott

Those are my grandfather’s, father’s and my own field guides, respectively. It looks like it has changed quite a bit but the guide has essentially remained the same for all of those decades because of its power to educate and engage. Help us keep the momentum going well into the 21st century! Use your favorite Peterson’s guide for a walk in the woods, a trip to the beach, a day at the farm or, of course, in your own backyard as I and so many others have for 80 years.

Twan is one of the most well-traveled biologists you’ll ever meet but he certainly uses his yard to enjoy nature. He has…or had…a wonderful setup of bird feeders and nest boxes. Why did I said had? Well…

Bird feeders bear yard

This is what he woke up to on Friday morning! Twan lives in a relatively suburban area and we were all surprised that a bear decided to visit that evening. Remember that if you live in an area with bears or an abundance of other mammals such as raccoons that you may want to suspend bird feeding once it warms up until next fall. Thankfully for Twan and the rest of us the Peterson guide is very portable, old school book or digital, and birds are everywhere. We are finally going to hit normal or above-average temperatures this week in Western New York and I hope you’re ready to put that book to use.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach

Photo 1 + 3 © Twan Leenders; photo 2 © Scott Kruitbosch