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Wild America: The Record of a 30,000 Mile Journey Around the Continent by a Distinguished Naturalist and His British Colleague
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Wild America: The Record of a 30,000 Mile Journey Around the Continent by a Distinguished Naturalist and His British Colleague

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  106 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
On an April day in 1953, renowned American naturalist, author, and illustrator Roger Tory Peterson met his British friend James Fisher, an authority on seabirds, in Newfoundland. There they began a strenuous and thrilling hundred-day field trip around the edge of the continent. Part travelogue, part epic natural adventure, their richly illustrated record is "the superlativ ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 30th 1997 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 1956)
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Steven Howes
Apr 14, 2015 Steven Howes rated it really liked it
I found this to be a very enjoyable and thought-provoking book. It is the story of an epic trip taken in 1953 by two well-known naturalists essentially encompassing the east and west coasts of North America and along the U.S. Mexico border. Their documentation of this trip could have ended up as nothing more than a collection of dry journal entries interesting only to biologists and, in particular, ornithologists. However, both Mr. Peterson and Mr. Fisher wrote with passion and humor about their ...more
Jul 04, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
Wild America is a fascinating and entertaining account of two men's travels around the perimeter of North America. It's interesting, too, as a way of seeing what wild America was like in the early fifties. In some ways, things seem to have improved somewhat, in other ways not at all. I spent many years living in D.C., a few of them right on Connecticut Avenue in Woodley Park, so the saddest chapter for me was "City in the Woods." In it, Peterson extols the glories of Rock Creek Park and ferventl ...more
Duane Bowker
Aug 22, 2015 Duane Bowker rated it liked it
Published in 1955, the two authors are famous naturalists who decided to take a little over two months to tour North America in Peterson's Ford station-wagon. They started in Newfoundland, drove down the east coast of the United States to Florida, drove westward along the Gulf coast through Louisiana into Texas and northern Mexico, then continued to the west coast through New Mexico, Arizona and California, then drove up the west coast to Washington and the Olympic Peninsula. They ended their tr ...more
Mar 19, 2015 Bruce rated it really liked it
This book covers 30,000 miles of America over 100 days as two renowned naturalists set out to see some birds. Roger Tory Peterson is known as the illustrator and bird identification author behind numerous books. His companion, James Fisher, a birder from Great Britain and Peterson's friend is Peterson's student on the trip. It is quite informative to listen to two different views of the birds, cultures and wildlife they encounter. I really enjoyed that these two seasoned birders still got excite ...more
Jan 26, 2016 Allen rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, nature
This is the account of British naturalist James Fisher coming to America at the invitation of Roger Tory Peterson, and their travels down the Atlantic coast, across the southern border of the US, down into Mexico, and up the Pacific coast. It's fascinating in a number of ways. It's intriguing to see the natural beauty of North America through the eyes of a British naturalist, for one thing. And then there is the journey through the continent over 60 years ago; things have changed, some for the b ...more
Feb 06, 2011 Kristen rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this look into America's past, written by one of America's premier naturalists and his British counterpart during their cross-country road trip during the 1950s. They do not sound all that different from the naturalists of the 2000s. The bad jokes, the obsession with food, the random observations, and overall fascination with the natural world seems always the same (and thank goodness for that). But the world has changed, of course, and though many of these places still exist th ...more
Jan 05, 2015 Susan added it
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm not going to rate this book. I bet it's fabulous for bird watchers. Which I'm not. So for me, as a book to fall asleep to, this one worked like a CHARM! So boring I almost couldn't believe it. Don't ask me why I persisted. Actually I'll tell you. My dear aunt bought it for me when I was young, so even though she's passed away, I have never felt I could get rid of it without reading it. Well, I FINALLY read it. Done.
Jul 12, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Recommended by a fellow birder on a habitat restoration project. Fantastic book, reminds me how strong a travelogue can be when the characters are vibrant and open to experience. this book will be with me for awhile. It should be required reading for high school students to teach them about living in North America, what rich flora/fauna we have. Also interesting to see how some conservation efforts have been successful; when they visit Big Sur, the condors are nearly extinct but today that reint ...more
Wild America 03042008 The Record of a 30,000 Mile Journey Around the Continent by a Distinguished Naturalist and His British Colleague (Paperback)
by Roger Tory Peterson James Fisher
Apr 05, 2012 Jay rated it really liked it
A book that I think one must probably be a birder to really appreciate. An exhausting journey by Peterson and his British friend James Fisher. They travel for weeks birding and seeing some of the great natural wonders of the US. Interestingly enough, it is not the over 600 species of birds that Fisher is most impressed with. After visiting many national park and national wildlife refuges, to quote Fisher it is "to tell of Wild America and to say that never have I seen such wonders or met landlor ...more
Jan 10, 2015 L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ultimate birding road trip in the spring of 1953. I enjoy cross-country road trips so, I read this more as a comparison with my recent trips to the same areas that they saw 60 years earlier. I am not an avid bird watcher but,this book made me realize I am overlooking the large and wonderful world of birds. I have added many new "must see" destinations to my future trips.
Jun 13, 2010 Carrie rated it liked it
Interesting to read this and think about how the US and our wild places have changed since 1953 when Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher took this epic journey around N. America. But I wouldn't recommend this book to's definitely heavy on the ornithological descriptions.
Jun 09, 2007 Ken rated it really liked it
Shelves: birds
This book is a fun read. Who wouldn't love to be in 1953, driving cross-country looking for birds with Roger Tory Peterson at the wheel?
Aug 22, 2007 Martin rated it really liked it
Shelves: naturalhistory
fun to ride along on such a journey --
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Roger Tory Peterson was an American naturalist, ornithologist, artist, and educator, and held to be one of the founding inspirations for the 20th century environmental movement.
More about Roger Tory Peterson...

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