Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My tribute to Roger Tory Peterson in Sweden & America magazine

In 1996, when Roger Tory Peterson died, the Swedish Council of America wanted to publish a tribute to the famous Swede's life in their magazine, Sweden & America, and their editor wrote to me asking if I would write it for them. In retrospect, I suspect they asked me out of a misunderstanding, thinking I was Swedish because my married name is indeed Swedish. (I'm Irish and German with maybe a tiny smattering of Swedish. Russ is 100% Swedish.) But I went ahead and wrote it.

It was written just after the Ivory-billed Woodpecker had been declared extinct. Now Sweden & America magazine is also extinct—it's has been out of print for several years, but when I was rifling through my files looking for something entirely different, I came across my only copy. So here it is, since it's not available anywhere else anymore. You should be able to click on a page to see a readable size.

And here is my letter from Roger Tory Peterson, referenced in the article.

Letter from Roger Tory Peterson

This happens to be the very week that I received the Roger Tory Peterson Award from the American Birding Association! So with that unexpected and thrilling connection to Peterson,  I have to add one more photo.

Chickadee Approved!


  1. Hi Laura, looking forward to meeting you at the Indiana Dunes Festival this May.
    Jeff Reiter
    Words on Birds

  2. Hi, Laura, as the relatively still new CEO of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, I came across this post and thought to introduce myself to you. If you're interested, I'd love to set up a time to meet/Zoom. Let me know if you're interested. Meantime, here's a link to our new website: My work email: Thanks.