These fascinating and beautiful images are the the work of San Francisico based photographer, Sharon Beals, and form part of her newly published book 'Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them'.
The nest and eggs specimens, collected over the last two centuries, were photographed at The California Academy of Sciences, The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and The Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology.
While few nests are collected today, these nests and eggs are used for research, providing important information about their builder’s habitats, DNA, diseases and other survival issues.
Creations of spider’s web, caterpillar cocoon, plant down, mud, found modern objects, human and animal hair, mosses, lichen, feathers and down, sticks and twigs - all woven with beak and claw - are Beals' focus, and the architects range from the House Finch who emerges as the ultimate recycler to the Common Tailor Bird which literally stitches its home together.
"It is my hope that capturing the detailed art form of the nests in these photographs will gain appreciation for their builders, and inspire their protection." says Sharon.