1) Zickefoose, Julie. Baby Birds: An Artist Looks into the Nest. 2016. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Hardbound: 338 pages. Price: $28.00 U.S.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in bird nests, or what happens after a fledgling leaves the nest, come along on Julie’s sensitive exploration of often-uncharted ornithological ground.
This beautiful book is as much an art book as it is a natural history, something readers have come to expect from Julie Zickefoose. More than 400 watercolor paintings show the breathtakingly swift development of seventeen different species of wild birds. Sixteen of those species nest on Julie's wildlife sanctuary, so she knows the birds intimately, and writes about them with authority. To create the bulk of this extraordinary work, Julie would borrow a wild nestling, draw it, then return it to its nest every day until it fledged. Some were orphans she raised by hand, giving the ultimate insider’s glimpse into their lives. In sparkling prose, Julie shares a lifetime of insight about bird breeding biology, growth, and cognition.
As an artist and wildlife rehabilitator, Julie possesses a unique skill set that includes sketching and painting rapidly from life as well as handling delicate hatchlings. She is uniquely positioned to create such an opus, and in fact, nothing like it has ever been attempted. Julie has many fans, and she will gain many more with this unparalleled work.
RECOMMENDATION: This is Zickefoose's best book to date!