Ever heard of a Spark Bird? A Spark Bird is a bird that sparks a lifelong love of birds. For Roger Tory Peterson, his spark bird was a northern flicker.

Roger grew up right here in Jamestown, New York. When he was 11 years old, he happened upon a clump of feathers on the side of a tree. It was obviously some kind of bird, but he didn’t know if it was sleeping or even alive. So, he sneaked up to it, reached out his finger and touched it. The bird was very much alive and flew away in a burst of golden wing beats. From that moment on, as Roger frequently told the story, he was hooked on birds for life.

What’s your Spark Bird? Or maybe for you it’s a Spark Wildflower. Or Spark Tree. Or Spark Butterfly. Welcome to the Peterson Preserve. Explore. Wander. Wonder. Your spark experience awaits you. When you find it, come inside the museum and share it with us — draw your bird or flower or butterfly on the Art Wall in Roger’s Studio.

One of Roger’s most famous works of art honors his spark bird — the northern flicker.

Vince Liuzzo created all the sculptures along our nature trail. In addition to being a gifted artist, he is a certified arborist and helps keeps the trees of our community healthy and strong.

Inside the museum, artist Erin Ruffino honored Roger’s Spark Bird in her mural entitled, “Flicker Moment.”