Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Letter from Roger Tory Peterson

With the centennial of Roger Tory Peterson’s birthday coming this month, naturally I had to pull out the letter I received from him back in July 1987. This was right when Duluth’s Ring-billed Gull population explosion was making the news, but when people were still tossing French fries to them at every fast food restaurant. Duluth’s city council was trying to come up with strategies to deal with them—one proposal was actually to introduce wild pigs to the harbor to eat their eggs! I decided to write to Roger Tory Peterson asking what experiences he’d had with birds mooching for food, and received this delightful reply (click to see larger):
According to the biography Birdwatcher, Roger Tory Peterson’s wife Barbara wrote many of his letters, but by 1987, they were no longer married, and so this was actually written by him, and is one of my treasured possessions.

2 comments :

  1. That was neat! Thanks for sharing the letter.

    Alan

    ReplyDelete
  2. Laura, How very cool to have a letter from RTP. I don't have anything near that cool. I did get him to sign what was then the new version of his fieldguide though. I've never used that fieldguide, though it has a place of honor on my bookshelf. Occasionally, I just get it out and look at the signature and then I put it carefully away again.

    Carolyn H.

    ReplyDelete