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In the Field, Among the FeatheredA History of Birders and Their Guides$
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Thomas R. Dunlap

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199734597

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199734597.001.0001

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The Field Guide Comes of Age

The Field Guide Comes of Age

(p.91) Four The Field Guide Comes of Age
In the Field, Among the Feathered

Thomas R. Dunlap

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on Roger Tory Peterson's contribution to the development of field identification and birdwatching in America through his book, A Field Guide to the Birds. First published in 1934, A Field Guide to the Birds revolutionized field guides as a genre and birdwatching as a hobby. The chapter follows Peterson from his childhood in upstate New York through writing his first guides and his development, after World War II, of a career as freelance writer, artist, and illustrator. It also examines changes in birdwatching as it became a truly national hobby against the backdrop of the Depression and the emergence of ecology and game management as academic and scientific disciplines. Finally, it considers the environmental revolution of the 1960s and how it changed the basis of bird conservation and birdwatchers' perspective on wild America.

Keywords:   field identification, Roger Tory Peterson, birdwatching, America, A Field Guide to the Birds, field guides, World War II, game management, bird conservation, birdwatchers

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