Julie Zickefoose is a widely published natural history writer and artist. Educated at Harvard University in biology and art, she worked for six years as a field biologist for The Nature Conservancy before turning to a freelance art career. Her observations on the natural history and behavior of birds stem from more than three decades of experience in the field. She has presented illustrated lectures for nature organizations and festivals across the country, and exhibited her paintings at universities, museums, galleries, and in juried shows. Illustration credits include The New Yorker, Smithsonian, Spider, Cricket, and Ladybug. She has written and illustrated articles for Country Journal, and Bird Watcher's Digest has published more than 30 of Julie's articles and 17 of her cover paintings since 1986.
Julie has painted color posters and illustrated educational materials for the Laboratory of Ornithology and Cornell University, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, and the Boy Scouts of America. Reader's Digest Books, Yale University Press, and National Geographic Books have published her illustrations or writing. The American Ornithologists' Union and the Academy of Natural Sciences employed her as a primary illustrator of their landmark 17-volume work, The Birds of North America.
Julie Zickefoose's writing is a unique personal narrative that creates a mood, yet informs the reader. She accompanies her writing with paintings and drawings. "A South African Tapestry," Bird Watcher's Digest (March 1995) took an Apex Award for Feature Writing. Her illustrated book, The Bird-friendly Backyard: Natural Gardening for Birds (Rodale, 2001) has sold more than 40,000 copies, and Enjoying Bluebirds More, a bluebird landlord's handbook, has sold more than half a million copies.
With her husband, Bill Thompson, III, editor of Bird Watcher's Digest, Julie lives on an 80-acre nature sanctuary in the Appalachian foothills of southeast Ohio. A 42-foot-tall bird watching tower atop their home helps them enjoy and catalogue the wildlife they protect, including 181 bird species and 67 butterfly species to date.