Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. Until 1934, there were no good field guides that provided illustrations and identification information for the more than 750 kinds of birds known from North America. Then Roger Tory Peterson, an artist by training and a birder by avocation, published a field guide that revolutionized bird-watching. Peterson had long maintained that he could identify birds at a distance with a pair of binoculars. He'd accumulated notes on characteristics that allowed such identification and put those notes to work in his art, using arrows to point out the key identifying features of each species, and he patented his Peterson System of Identification. A Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America has gone through five editions, sold millions of copies, and spawned a series that now includes dozens of field guides to the natural world. Roger Tory Peterson's Field Guide to the Birds and a new guide by David Allen Sibley have made best-seller lists, demonstrating the interests of the American public in exploring the world around them and adding to the American economy.'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.