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Happy Hundredth, Roger

Peterson’s Yellow-bellied Sapsucker artwork
Peterson’s Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (1977) from the Cornell Lab collection.

We would be remiss if we didn’t stop this week to remember the great artist and naturalist Roger Tory Peterson, inventor of the field mark, granddad of modern birding, born 100 years ago on Thursday.

Peterson’s centennial is being met with great fanfare, including a fancy new edition of the Peterson field guide, a lavish biography, blog tributes, and free birthday cake at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.

Living Bird editor Tim Gallagher offers a remembrance in our summer issue (on the coffee tables of Lab members now; coming online in October) and recalls how it was RTP himself who suggested the magazine’s name.

So blow out a candle or two for the great man, raise a toast to the bird conservation movement he helped begin – and then get out there and see if you can find some confusing fall warblers. Happy birding everyone.

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American Kestrel by Blair Dudeck / Macaulay Library