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Global Ideas

You made your nest, now sleep in it.

Photographer Sharon Beals hopes her pictures of nests will invite viewers to start learning about the lives of nests' builders, and to take measures to help birds in any way they can.

San Francisco-based photographer Sharon Beals photographed all of the nests in the above gallery from historic ornithology collections housed by the California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates, and the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian.

The pictures have also been published in the book

In Nests - Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them

and are part of a project inspired by

Scott Weidensaul’s book "Living on the Wind, Across the Hemispheres with Migrating Birds."

"Threaded through his essays about migration, which for many species of bird is an arduous, instinct-driven, thousands-of-miles journey, are stories of the survival challenges that [are faced by] many species of birds along the way, challenges most often created by humans," Beals explains.

Beals is currently working on a series of photographs of the nests of extinct and endangered species.

"It is my hope," she says, "that my images of these avian architectural feats will invite viewers who might never pick up a pair of binoculars, or open a birding guide, to learn about the lives of their builders, and take measures to help birds in any way they can."

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