Tuesday, November 24, 2015

An Expert Human Being

NaBloPoMo prompt for today:   Who is an expert you admire and why?

my answer:   Julie Zickefoose
Julie Zickefoose is a painter and writer who lives on a nature sanctuary in Appalachian Ohio. She is the author of Letters from Eden and The Bluebird Effect: Uncommon Bonds With Common Birds.

She writes a delightful blog which I encourage all nature lovers, gardeners, and birders to visit:

I’ve been reading her blog and her Facebook page for several years, and have become a devoted fan.

Julie knows so much about birds and bats and gardens and plants and photography and painting,

and she is such a fluid , engaging, and entertaining writer.

On her blog, she shares her experiences as a wildlife rehabber, and also her family life, with her husband, raising two beautiful children and a much-loved dog.

                                    ( in her hand is a red bat she was rehabbing)
She does it all with unpretentiousness and humor.

What follows is an excerpt from an article Julie wrote in “Before It’s News” about one rehabbing experience. The photos are hers:

“Next was a baby robin that a woman had found a week earlier. She called me about it. After I talked with her awhile, I could sense that she had the right stuff and the desire to take care of it. I didn’t have time to mess with it, so I told her how to feed it until I could take it. Which was just as I fed the downy. 


“She did a marvelous job. Just look at it! She’d never fed a baby bird before. She loved it. Said it had been the best week of her life. I felt sorry that she couldn’t finish raising it, but she wasn’t permitted to do so, and lived in an apartment complex full of cats which would be a bad place to try to soft-release a robin. 


“It was easy to tell that robin had had plenty of love. As well as plenty of kitten chow. FAT.


“It sat on my shoulder like a friendly parakeet. It was time to get this bird with other robins, in a big net flight enclosure where it could learn to be a robin instead of a parakeet. 

“ How I wished I could do that myself, but I had to go. So I took it in and fed it up, too, and prepared a carrier for it. That’s two. But there was a third call, another one I couldn’t say no to. I don’t care how busy you get as a rehabber, there are just some birds you can’t turn away. To be continued…

“So we’re dealing with a paralyzed downy woodpecker and a very sweet fledgling robin. Last but not least, I got a call on the phone the day before my departure. Someone had found a tiny owl on the ground in the woods behind Tractor Supply and brought it, of all places, to the local We Love Pets. Christy the manager has my number. I asked her to send me a cellphone photo of the bird, just to be sure what we were dealing with. 


“Yep. Babeh eastern screech-owl. OMG, squeeee! Literally the size of a navel orange, with a creaky little voice that stole my heart. Reeek. Reeeek. 

More anon…”
Julie's husband is the editor of Bird Watcher's Digest, and she contributes many articles and artwork to the magazine.

This should be enough to make you look her up on Google! 


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