Please pardon our dust.

In early December, a faulty light fixture caused a fire at RTPI. Our famed Peterson Collection is safe. However, damage to our building is serious enough that we’ll be closed for several months while we rebuild.

A couple weeks later, our website gave up the ghost.

Thanks to the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, this is a temporary website to keep us connected to you. To keep you updated on the progress we're making restoring our beautiful sanctuary, designing a dynamic new online presence, and launching a major new strategic plan.

Like you, we're glad to see the backside of 2020. With your support, the new year holds tremendous promise.

Stay safe. Be well. Keep in touch.
Arthur Pearson, CEO



Donate to the Phoenix Fund

While we're busy rebuilding inside, our outdoor trails remain open for you to explore. Winter is a perfect time to follow in the footsteps of Roger Tory Peterson through woods that inspired his future career as international ambassador for nature.

The Roger Tory Peterson Institute

In 1984, the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History was founded in Peterson’s hometown of Jamestown, New York to steward the largest, most comprehensive collection of his artwork, photographs, films, manuscripts and related archival materials. A decade later, the Institute cut the ribbon on its new home – a 23,000 square foot architectural gem, designed by Robert A.M. Stern and nestled within a 28-acre nature preserve. RTPI celebrates Peterson’s legacy at the intersection of art and nature, through exhibitions of world class nature art and related conservation and education programs. Over the past several months, board and staff have been hard at work on crafting a new mission, vision and strategic plan for RTPI. Stay tuned — we’ll be making that announcement soon.

About Roger

The premier artist-naturalist of his time, Roger Tory Peterson sparked a worldwide movement to connect people with nature as never before. Best known as the father of the modern field guide, in 1984 he was honored by the Smithsonian Institution with an exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of the publication of his first guide, A Field Guide to the Birds. “With genius and simplicity, talent and dedication,” wrote the head of the Smithsonian, Peterson “perfected the field guide into the essential tool for understanding…nature.” Peterson traveled the world to observe, photograph and write about birds, earning him numerous honorary doctorates. Among his many awards is the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented by President Jimmy Carter in 1980. To his fellow birders, he was known as “King Penguin,” given his love for his favorite family of birds.

Snowy Owl Museum Store

We realize you have lots of options for making purchases on line. Amazon is an important winter habitat for migrating birds. But buying the latest Peterson Field Guide and other carefully curated items from the Snowy Owl Museum Store is a great way to support the mission and goals of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.

Shop the Store Online