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Naturalist and Artist Julie Zickefoose to Speak to Athens Conservancy

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Julie Zickefoose, a noted artist, writer, and naturalist, will be the featured speaker Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Athens Conservancy Annual Meeting at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Building at 360 E. State St., Athens.

Zickefoose is the author of four books about birds and was a regular commentary contributor to National Public Radio’s (NPR’s) All Things Considered from 2005 through 2010.

Zickefoose will be speaking about her latest book Baby Birds: An Artist Looks into the Nest. Over 13 years Zickefoose drew and painted the progression from nestlings to fledglings to independent birds of 17 different bird species. Work on this book began in 2002.

Daily she would retrieve a baby from the nest, draw and paint its status that day, and return it to its nest, according to Zickefoose. She chronicles more than 500 life studies in the book. During that time she also became foster mother to orphaned hummingbirds, chimney swifts and bluebirds.

Earlier Zickefoose wrote Backyard Birding: Using Natural Gardening to Attract Birds, Letters from Eden,and the Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds.

Zickefoose resides on an 80 acre sanctuary of her own in Southeastern Ohio. You can read more about her work at

She will be speaking to the annual gathering of the Athens Conservancy led by President Donna Goodman. The Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting natural areas in Athens County and its neighbors.

According to Goodman, the Conservancy manages about 1,000 acres comprised of 11 preserves and four conservation easements.

Most of the preserve lands are open to the public for exploration. Maps of the areas, according to Goodman, can be found on the Conservancy’s website at