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Artist lecture: “Baby Birds: An Artist Looks Into the Nest”

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Posted on Monday, March 20, 2023

Bird artist, naturalist and writer Julie Zickefoose will speak at Westminster College at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 30, in the Dietz-Sullivan Lecture Hall in Hoyt Science Center.

Zickefoose will discuss her book, “Baby Birds: An Artist Looks into the Nest,” published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2016.

Zickefoose began drawing and painting wild nestlings in 2002, bearing witness to their swift growth day by day. Over the following 13 years Zickefoose documented the daily changes in 17 different bird species. 

Throughout her talk, Zickefoose will share her influences as well as her artistic process, a must-see for the natural history artist. She will discuss the work, wonder and fun of studying nestlings—including being foster mother to orphaned hummingbirds, chimney swifts and bluebirds.

In January 2021, Zickefoose began working with a team to resurrect the defunct Bird Watcher's Digest magazine. The new BWD Magazine’s first issue appeared in July 2022 featuring Zickefoose’s painting of a Henslow’s sparrow on the cover.

Zickefoose has also written and/or illustrated books including “Natural Gardening for Birds,” “Letters from Eden,” “The Bluebird Effect” and her newest illustration “Saving Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-Luck Jay,” the intimate story of how an orphaned bird can save a soul. 

Zickefoose, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biological anthropology from Harvard University in 1981, lives and works on a quiet 80-acre wildlife sanctuary in the back country of Whipple, Ohio.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Summer Zickefoose, associate professor of art at Westminster, at or 724-946-7267.