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For the Birds

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute’s


A presentation based on the children’s book

“For the Birds” is a forty minute presentation, appropriate for ages 8 and up based on the children’s biography For the Birds, The Life of Roger Tory Peterson. Roger Tory Peterson is most famous for writing and illustrating A Field Guide to the Birds. He was a renowned artist, writer, photographer and naturalist who used his gifts to educate millions of people to know and appreciate the natural world. Author Peggy Thomas’s well-researched text, Laura Jacque’s beautiful illustrations, related objects and activities allow participants to make personal, social, cultural, historical and scientific connections to this famous Jamestown historical figure.

For the Birds

A Roger Tory Peterson Institute educator comes to your facility to do this presentation and help your audience make those connections. They need not to have read For the Birds prior to the presentation, but they may want to at its conclusion. Roger Tory Peterson Institute anticipates this possible demand and has several copies of the book to loan.

 For 2014 – 2015 This program was offered free of charge through funding provided by The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation

The presentation has three components:

  • Items representing Roger Tory Peterson’s life alongside his biography help participants learn about Roger Tory Peterson’s life as he develops into a naturalist, ornithologist, artist, environmentalist and educator.
  • Using a Peterson Field Guide as a reference the presenter describes the Peterson System, the method of nature identification that Roger Tory Peterson is famous for.
  • Participants practice using the Peterson System by participating in a game based on Jeopardy® that challenges them to identify various birds

For more information or to schedule a presentation for a small fee, contact Melanie Smith, RTPI Communications Coordinator: msmith@rtpi.org

In addition to nature education, RTPI archives the lifetime body of work of Roger Tory Peterson – some 200,000 items – which form the basis of programs uniquely suited to interpreting the life of Peterson from humble beginnings as a boy growing up in early 20th century Jamestown through his world-changing contributions as one of the great nature educators of all time. We house an extensive collection of books and curriculum resources to help educators bring nature into what they teach, and offer teachers free nature education consultation. Teachers may also borrow our classroom sets of field guides and field equipment such as binoculars, collecting nets, magnifying lenses, rubber boots, etc.