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Happy birthday Roger Tory Peterson

Enjoy birthday cake!
Enjoy birthday cake!
Omer Wazir

Today is the day to celebrate the father of modern field guidesRoger Tory Peterson. Born Aug. 28, 1908, this influential man published his Guide to the Birds in 1934 at the age of 25, his first step in developing what is a standard today for great field guides. His unique system of crisply clear illustrations and markers to highlight key identification characteristics has introduced thousands of individuals to the joy of birding and the satisfaction of properly identifying the birds they see, and even today Peterson's updated field guides are some of the most popular choices for birders of all experience levels.

But Peterson was more than just a birder, or an illustrator or a writer. He was passionate about birds and all wildlife and natural ecology, and worked tirelessly toward effective conservation through education. He was an artist, naturalist, and despite no formal ornithological training, one of the most influential and renowned bird experts of the 20th century.

Peterson passed away on July 28, 1996, but his legacy lives on in every field guide and every birder who uses them. Celebrate his birthday today by…