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Roger Tory Peterson Bird Fest

Beginning in 2008 the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History has hosted a Bird Fest for people of all ages and birding skill levels in the first week of June. Bird Fest 2014, which took place on June 6 and 7, featured a variety of bird walks in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania with trip leaders from diverse avian backgrounds, as well as a compelling keynote speaker from the world of bird research and nature writing.

The 2014 Keynote Speaker – Joel Greenberg


Joel Greenberg has over 25 years’ experience working on natural resource related issues in the Midwest. Currently a Research Associate of both the Field Museum and the Chicago Academy of Sciences Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, he has authored four books including Of Prairie, Woods, and Waters: Two Centuries of Chicago Nature Writing (2008, University of Chicago Press.); A Natural History of the Chicago Region (2002, University of Chicago Press); and his new book A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction, published by Bloomsbury USA, which will be available for purchase.


For the past four years Joel has been a leader in Project Passenger Pigeon, which aims to mark the anniversary of the species’ extinction. He is co-producing with director David Mrazek the documentary, From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction. Greenberg has JD and MA degrees from Washington University.


Friday June 6, 2014 featured excursions to wetlands and grasslands. See our blog for photos, observations and bird lists from the day.

Saturday June 7, 2014 featured excursions to forests and the escarpment. See our blog for photos, observations and bird lists from the day.

Joel Greenberg

Joel Greenberg taking in a Pink Lady’s Slipper orchid (Cypripedium acaule) during an excursion on RTP Bird Fest 2014

RTP Bird Fest 2015 will be planned later this fall. For more information about Bird Fest contact RTPI at birdfest@rtpi.org or give us a call at 716-665-2473.

RTP Bird Fest 2013 was made quite a bit more festive by the announcement that Noble Proctor was receiving the American Birding Association’s highest award: the Roger Tory Peterson Award promoting the Cause of Birding.

ABA president Jeff Gordon and Noble Proctor

This ‘lifetime achievement’ award has only been awarded a handful of times but few are more worthy of receiving this honor than Noble Proctor. ABA president Jeff Gordon detoured from his trip to Brazil to stop at RTPI and personally hand Noble this award during our evening program. It was quite a highlight in an already exemplary weekend!