Nicole Perretta has been drawing and painting birds since she was 9 years old; her interest in birds began at that time. She read every book she could on birds and observed the wild birds in her neighborhood, keeping a list of the birds that she identified. At the same time she became interested in falconry after her mother brought home a book on the subject. She wanted to become a falconer from that day forward. She realized that dream in 1992 and obtained a falconry license. Nicole broadened her experience with birds by working as an ornithological field assistant and by volunteering at local wildlife rehabilitation centers. She has also worked professionally as an exotic bird caretaker, an avian behavioral consultant, and as a Zookeeper at San Diego Zoo.
Nicole Perretta studied art in high school at the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts. She enjoys working in many mediums but her favorites are watercolor, acrylic, and oil. Nicole is also a published artist. She has illustrated the books, "Understanding the Life of Birds", by Patrick G. Coyle, and "The Complete Bird Owner's Handbook" by Dr. Gary A. Gallerstein. A second edition of the latter mentioned book contains additional illustrations drawn by Nicole. She also illustrated the,"Taxonomy of the Marsh Wren", by Philip Unitt, Collection Manager of Birds and Mammals for the San Diego Natural History Museum. Nicole also illustrated for the museum's Bird Atlas newsletter.
Nicole has another talent. She can imitate the calls of birds. She learned to produce bird calls between the ages of 6 and 11 years of age. It was at time she discovered she could capture the attention of the birds around her. She could change the direction of a flying raven, have a dove follow her, or make a hawk dive bomb an invisible foe. Nicole has fine tuned this ability over the years and can now produce 165 birds calls.