Julie has bachelor's degrees in biology and Spanish from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree from New York University's Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting Program. The managing editor of online content at Science Friday, Julie was formerly a senior editor at Audubon and still authors the magazine's "One Picture" section (appearing on the last page). Though she relishes all-things-nature, fond memories of snorkeling in the Florida Keys and lolling on Hawaii's beaches ensure she'll never live far from the coast.
Julie Leibach's blog
Last week, we got a glimpse of dinosaurs’ true colors. Now we have an even better picture of what a dino's coat-of-feathers might have looked like. Researchers reporting in Science have identified the colors of individual feathers belonging to Anchiornis huxleyi, a four-winged dinosaur of the late Jurassic. Turns out A-hux looked like--are you ready for it?...a chicken.!--/end tags-->
Ours may sport stars, others suns or moons, but a number of national flags feature designs of another lofty nature--avian, to be specific. Can you guess which nation corresponds with the flag below and name the bird that emblazons it? (Click "read more" for the answer, and stay tuned for more flag quizzes):
The weather forecast is in, and it’s grim—at least, if you’re sick of the cold. That’s right, Pennsylvania’s favorite groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, has seen his shadow, thereby predicting six more weeks of winter (thanks a lot, Phil). In honor of the venerable hirsute meteorologist, we’ve concocted a quiz to test your groundhog IQ...!--/end tags-->
Yes, Jurassic Park’s sequels crashed and burned like an asteroid. But you gotta admit—the dinosaurs seemed realistic, right? Maybe then…but after a paper appearing yesterday in Nature, any special effects team bent on a new dino flick should consider throwing some feathers in here and there—with particular attention to their color.!--/end tags-->
English courtier Sir Walter Raleigh ventured twice to the South American country of Guyana in search of El Dorado, a legendary city of gold. He didn’t find it. Of course, maybe he wasn’t looking for the right kind of treasure. A tropical locale that shares a border with Brazil, Guyana boasts more than 800 species of birds and a trove of other wildlife, including jaguars, false vampire bats, giant anteaters, and green anacondas, among others.!--/end tags-->
This past summer, Audubon hosted its first-ever photo awards contest in association with Nature’s Best Photography magazine. Inspired by the theme, “Birds in Focus,” some 2,500 entrants submitted an impressive 16,000+ images. The result? A spectacular mixed photo flock of birds in a variety of poses, from chinstrap penguins frolicking on turquoise ice to a newborn snowy plover nuzzling its mama. From those entries, our panel of judges selected five prizewinners—which you can now see online and in our January-February 2010 print issue, along with some of our staff’s other favorites, including a dozen shots that will surely make you chuckle (c’mon, who wouldn’t grin at an oxpecker getting, er, up close and personal with a zebra’s hiney?).
At Audubonmagazine.org, you’ll also find a bonus gallery of 100 images you shouldn’t miss. Just roll your mouse over the photomontage to see those shots in bigger sizes...(click "read more")!--/end tags-->
What's got eight legs and builds its house out of coconut shells? No, not a spider with a hankering for milk. It's Indonesia's veined octopus, and it's the first invertebrate on record to use tools, according to an article in Current Biology.!--/end tags-->
Bing Crosby's crooning, the fire smoke's pluming, and you're curled up on the couch...racking your brain for a good holiday gift or decoration idea. Audubon can help--especially if you want to avoid the commercial hype and opt for presents and adornments attuned to a more eco-conscious life style.!--/end tags-->
Let's hear it for the six-legged among us--not to mention artist Christopher Marley's creative eye: Audubon's March-April portfolio "Beetle Mania," which featured kaleidoscopic insect images from Marley's book Pheromone, won a gold medal in Folio magazine's 2009 Ozzie Awards for best use of photography by an association/nonprofit magazine.!--/end tags-->