“ I've only been birding
about six years, having finally noticed wild birds at age 42, and for
no apparent reason. However, when it happened, it happened big, and I
am so happy to have birds and other wild creatures in my life now. The
world is so much bigger with birds in it!
My interest in birds led to reading everything I could about them - not
only birding magazines, but also books covering the gamut of bird information,
from the Cruickshanks' 1001 Questions Answered About Birds to
Marie Winns' Red-Tails in Love to Len Howard's Birds as Individuals
and Living with Birds. My first field guide was a Peterson (of
course) and, as a freelance writer, I soon noticed there was a need for
another Peterson biography, as the only one in existence at the time was
published in 1977 while he was still alive.
In between birding field trips with the New Jersey Audubon Society (my
focus has been on South Jersey, but I notice birds wherever I go, including
the Las Vegas Strip, where great-tailed grackles are abundant!), I sifted
through archives and eventually spoke with 116 people from around the
world about Roger Tory Peterson. Re-living Roger's life through my research
was a wonderful way to see birds through his eyes as well as learn about
the most famous and important naturalist of the 20th century. My project
was eventually titled Birdwatcher: the Life of Roger Tory Peterson and
published by The Lyons Press in May 2008.
I have been fortunate to give talks at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute
of Natural History in Jamestown New York and before a meeting of the Delaware
Valley Ornithological Club. In October, I will be speaking during the
Cape May Bird Observatory's Cape May Autumn Weekend.
I look forward to participating in DVOC meetings and field trips!”
From Elizabeth's 2008 Application