Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them

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Overview

Sharon Beals' gorgeous photographs of nests offer a new window onto the life and beauty of birds. Drawn from the collections of the California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley, and the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, these birds' nests from around the world offer astonishing insight into the intricate detail wrought by nature's most fastidious architects. Lovely images of nests and eggs are set against rich black backgrounds, and are accompanied by fascinating and ...

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Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them

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Overview

Sharon Beals' gorgeous photographs of nests offer a new window onto the life and beauty of birds. Drawn from the collections of the California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley, and the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, these birds' nests from around the world offer astonishing insight into the intricate detail wrought by nature's most fastidious architects. Lovely images of nests and eggs are set against rich black backgrounds, and are accompanied by fascinating and informative portraits—conveyed through words and illustrations—of the birds that built them. A beautiful volume, Nests is the perfect gift for birders, bird lovers, and anyone captivated by the fleeting and fascinating splendor of the natural world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Small architectural marvels were hidden in storage for decades at the California Academy of Sciences until 2007, when artist Sharon Beals began unearthing them from cardboard boxes and wooden cabinets. She wanted to photograph nature's miniature masterpieces-birds' nests-which had been collected over the course of a century from a variety of species. Her images first appeared in Audubon's March-April 2008 issue and on its cover; they soar again in her elegant new book, Nests (Chronicle Books, $29.95). One by one, the structures appear in stark relief on a black background, exposing their exquisite intricacies-colored thread in an Altamira oriole's creation, seashells in a Caspian tern's-and, often, intact eggs. On facing pages, an illustration of the builder perches above companion text describing the species' nesting habits and construction methods. "Each nest is a scientific treasure trove," write the academy's Jack Dumbacher and Maureen Flannery in the foreword. "Each nest is also an amazing work of art." So is Beals's book.
— 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

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

"An intricate, illuminating window into the natural artistry of avian architecture."
— Shelf Awareness

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811877589
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 5/11/2011
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 261,840
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Award-winning San Francisco photographer Sharon Beals is author of several books including What Dogs Do and What Cats Are. She lives in San Francisco.

Jack Dumbacher and Maureen Flannery are ornithologists at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

Author and naturalist Scott Weidensaul has written more than two dozen books on natural history.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 16, 2014

    Wonderful photos

    Each photo was wonderful but I wish that the author would have included a photo of each bird that made the nest and maybe added the information where we could find that kind of nest in the USA.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful photographs! Great for the bird watcher or naturalist

    Beautiful photographs! Great for the bird watcher or naturalist in your family!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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