This Book is for the Birds (and Birdwatchers)

Celebrating 90 years with A Field Guide to the Birds.

Roger Tory Peterson recognized the power of art in helping us to learn about, understand, and appreciate our world. His richly illustrated field guides have opened the door to a world of biodiversity, placing the means for exploration and discovery in each of our hands. With the publication of A Field Guide to the Birds in 1934, Roger created a new visual language to easily study and understand the birds. His pocket-sized reference books combined simplified paintings of birds with clear, concise descriptions. The balance between detail and simplicity gave everyone–experts and non-experts alike–the resources to learn how to identify birds.

Roger created A Field Guide to the Birds because he wanted to teach bird identification in a simple, direct manner. Ninety years after his first guide was published, his series of guides have become much more than a simple identification tool. While using his guides and studying his paintings, you can almost hear him telling us to look more closely at the world, encouraging us to explore and discover all that nature has to offer. The well-worn field guides and letters from field guide users on view in this gallery are testaments to his role in instilling in the public an interest in and reverence for the birds.