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Volume 26, Number 5 — May 2019

Sunday with Friends hosts illustrator and writer

Julie Zickefoose
Julie Zickefoose
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March 29, 2017

The Friends of the Washington County Public Library in Abingdon, Virginia, present Julie Zickefoose as part of its Sunday with Friends literary series. She discusses her latest book, "Baby Birds: An Artist Looks into the Nest," Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. at the main library in Abingdon.

Zickefoose started off as an illustrator of natural history subjects as a college freshman. A six-year stint as a field biologist with The Nature Conservancy's Connecticut Chapter proved a strong motivator both to learn more about ecosystems and to go back to drawing. Along the way, she began to write her own essays, studded with observations of birds and animals, and writing slowly crept into the forefront of her interests. Bird Watcher's Digest has been the major print venue for her writing since 1986. She's painted 27 covers for the magazine.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published her first book of illustrated essays, "Letters from Eden," in 2006. "The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds" was Oprah's Book of the Week in April 2012. It's an amalgam of memoir, natural history watercolor paintings and life sketches. Her newest book is "Baby Birds: An Artist Looks Into the Nest." It's a groundbreaking work, depicting nestling development day by day, from hatch to fledging and beyond, in more than 500 life-sized watercolor studies.

Zickefoose had a five-year run contributing commentaries to National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," telling stories of bird-eating bullfrogs and orphaned hummingbirds. Her natural history blog sustained thrice weekly since 2005 entertains around 30,000 visits per month.

The talk is followed by a book sale and signing. For more information, visit

Topics: Literature

Julie Zickefoose discusses her latest book, "Baby Birds: An Artist Looks into the Nest," Sunday, April 23.