PDN Photo of the Day

Nature’s Architects

Sharon Beals’ longterm project documenting bird nests will be exhibited at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. August 26, 2013 through May 2, 2014. “Beals’ imagery draws our attention to the architecture of bird nests, which are often constructed of such peculiar combinations of materials as spider webbing, caterpillar cocoon, plant down, mud, sticks, twigs, hair and fur, mosses, lichen, feathers and other found objects,” the National Academy of Sciences said in a statement. For “Nests: Photographs by Sharon Beals,” “I chose nests that were interesting to me for their construction techniques, represented a variety of species and countries from which they were collected, as well as the nests of birds whose conservation status is considered threatened or endangered,” Beals told PDN. All of the nests were photographed at the California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, or the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates. Beals’ book, “Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them” (Chronicle, 2011) is currently in it’s sixth printing and is also available as an e-book. Says Beals, “I am hoping to continue with a sequel, this time trying to track down more of the nests of endangered birds.”

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