Julie Liebach, editors choice, Audubon magazine
In her new book, Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them, photographer Sharon Beals brings to light an often-secreted piece of the lives of birds. From the collections of the California Academy of Sciences, the Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, she has selected some of most ecologically unique, visually stunning, and just plain ingenious nests built by birds both familiar and exotic, from the marsh wren (Cistothorus palustris) to Kauai's akekee (Loxops caeuleirostris). The nests are, by turn, miraculously intricate, strikingly simple, sinister, strange, or sweet, but all are a testament to the resourcefulness of creatures who lack complex tools but have nonetheless evolved some of the most sophisticated, diverse architecture of any organisms on the planet.
Beals' beautiful photographs, a sampling of hundreds of nests carefully collected and preserved, are a testament to the power of these miniature masterpieces to inspire our imaginations and awaken our powers of observation.
Audubon magazine blog"
An intricate, illuminating window into the natural artistry of avian architecture."
Drawn from the exquisite collections of three California academies and institutes, the nests in these delicate, detailed images reflect the meticulous care and skill of their creators-50 species of birds, each described in facing-page text that is as free of scientific jargon as it is interesting.
American Photo magazine