Sunday, August 28, 2016

Roger Tory Peterson (August 28, 1908 – July 28, 1996)

All Original Photographs from Archives.

Roger Tory Peterson

He was probably the best-known ornithologist of the 20th century and, as the writer and critic William Zinsser once observed, "A Field Guide to the Birds," was "the single most revolutionary development in American birding." 
- New York Times Obituary: <>

His Home in Old Lyme, Connecticut

RTP's original Field Guide to the Birds...

...was dedicated to Clarence E. Allen...

...who was the founder of Maine's Camp Chewonki, and who gave him an early job, even picking him up at the bus station in Wiscasset.   Chewonki would later adopt an osprey sketch by RTP as their logo.

This personalized RTP puffin print...

...has the first line of the camp cheer.

As Roger Tory Peterson's fame grew, he lectured around the world, including returning to Maine at Hog Island...

...who also had this puffin print.

Roger Tory Peterson influenced almost all subsequent birders and naturalists, directly and indirectly, including:

...Edwin Way Teale, naturalist, photographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer...

At His Farm in Hampton
...Dave Parsons (Yale University's long serving taxidermist),...
Parsons in the '60's

Parsons in the '70's

...And Noble Proctor.  Roger Tory Peterson would call Dr. Proctor, after they had logged in considerable time together, the greatest living field birder.  It was Noble Proctor's puffin photographs that RTP used as the source material for the aforementioned puffin painting.

Some who went on bird walks with Noble Proctor recalled accompanying Fred Sibly and his two sons, one of whom went on to author a next generation of reference bird guides.
Noble in Kenya

A Young Noble Proctor

A Prolific Photographer of Plants, Butterflies and Birds

The more you look, the more you will see. 
- Roger Tory Peterson