On a cold and wet day not long ago, I was walking through Prospect Park in Brooklyn listening to the muted calls of birds and couldn’t help but admire all the finely constructed nests still perched in the baron trees.
I know it’s a bit too early to start thinking about bird nests, but it’s impossible not to marvel at the elaborate structures built by birds year in year out. A lot of these structures, like gigantic dams built by beavers or extensive burrow systems made by wombats, make the things we produce on a daily basis look small and inconsequential.
What got me mildly obsessed with this subject was a book I recently received from the Wild Bird Magazine called “Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them” by Sharon Beals, which features 50 amazing photographs of bird nests.
Photographer Sharon Beals, who became entranced with taking pictures of old bird nest specimens at museums, perfectly captures the adeptness of birds in a way that exhibits their intuition. The 50 nests in her book are just a tiny sample of all the different types of nests that exist in the world and you can really see her passion grow as she urges everyone to be conscious of how their actions affect nature and birds.
Here are 5 of my favorite nests from her photographs that really demonstrate why it’s important to conserve the planet.
I find all hummingbird nests remarkable because of how they are built and just how small they are. This image isn’t actually from her book, but it’s on Sharon Beals Flickr account.
This is among my favorite nests, not because of its architecture, but simply because it looks absolutely beautiful. As you can tell from the materials it uses, the Caspian Tern nests near coastal areas all around the world. In the book, Sharon points out that the construction is rudimentary and that they scrape shallow depressions in the ground for a nest.
The Golden-Hooded Tanager, which hails from Central and South America, constructs very strong nests in places where they can be hidden. For example, they are sometimes built in bunches of bananas, empty trees and even in old honeycombs.
If you like these photographs, I highly recommend you get her book, which is a great coffee table book. Also, check out Sharon Beals website.