(Photo credit: Nests / Sharon Beals. Chronicle Books, c2012)
As spring nears in the UK, we can look forward to watching the annual spectacle of birds pairing up and creating nests in which to raise their young. With so many nests built out of our sight, it is a rare treat to be able to see, close up, these intricate structures for ourselves. In ‘Nests : fifty nests and the birds that built them’, Sharon Beals allows us to do just this and gives us a fascinating insight into the lives of the birds who created them.
Beals has drawn on the collections of the California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California and the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. Her work allows us to look in detail at 50 nests from around the world. These vary from the silky plant fibres and spider-webs of the Cuban Emerald Hummingbird to the sticks and leaves of the Greater Roadrunner. Information on the creator of the nest and a detailed illustration accompanies each photograph.
As well as allowing us an insight into the variety of nests and the skills involved in making them – the work comes with a serious warning. As a result of environmental change, the birds responsible for building these nests are, in many cases, in decline. Beals warns us, changes in the way we live are required urgently, if we are to continue to enjoy the beauty of nests and their builders.
You can find further details of Nests : fifty nests and the birds that built them on our catalogue.