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These stunning images are from a new book Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds That Built Them ($29.95, Chronicle Books, June 2011), by Sharon Beals. Beals photographed nests from all over the world, collected over the last two centuries and currently held in the collections of the California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley, and the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology.
Made of human and animal hair, shells, plants, feathers, mud and more, these birds' nests are architectual marvels, created stick by stick and bird by bird. The book is accompanied with illustrations of the birds that built the nest (included in our slide show), with drawings by Laurie Wigham.
The cover of the book (left) is of the nest of the Arctic Redpoll, a finch that lives in Greenland and Canada.