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Please forward this error screen to 184. Calling birds ‘nature’s most fastidious architects,’ photographer Sharon Beals set out to catalog these works of art for her book Ohi social dating. Many of the photos are also on display now through May 2014 at the National Academy of Sciences, in Washington, D.

Most people think of a simple round bowl filled with eggs up in a tree when they think of a bird’s nest, but not all are the same. Photographer Sharon Beals set out to catalog these works of art for her book Nests. Calling birds ‘nature’s most fastidious architects,’ Ms Beals wanted to share her fascination with structures created ‘in all shapes and sizes using a variety of materials. There are those that build with mud, burrow tunnels, weave hanging pendulous baskets or cups onto branches, stitch leaves, stack sticks, or glue with saliva. Some just make simple scrapes on the ground, or fill cavities with fur and bones, and others that camouflage their nests with lichen, spiderweb, or moss,’ Beals wrote in her book. The nests featured in the book are parts of permanent collections at the California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley, and the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology.

Many of the nests pictured were collected prior to 1950, some are over 100-years-old. Nest collecting was made illegal in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, signed into law in 1918. Several of the photos are also on display now through May 2014 at the National Academy of Sciences, in Washington, D. All captions and further descriptions are courtesy of Ms Beals. They manage this year-round residency by building small thorny domes for both breeding and roosting. Fledglings as young as three months construct their own nests, and in a year a Verdin may build a dozen solo shelters.

African Palm Swifts live in sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Arabia, and Madagascar. Using their sticky saliva, they bond a shallow platform of soft feathers and plant down to the under side of a downward hanging palm leaf. If palms are unavailable, they adopt other trees, or even man-made structures. When the female produces an egg, she carefully lowers it into the nest platform and glues it in place with saliva. Both members of a pair incubate the eggs, pressing them tightly against the nest, trading shifts carefully.