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Nests That Speak for Birds
by Sharon Beals


Like many of you, I share the wonderment of the marvel of nests. Spider webs, caterpillar cocoons, mud, modern objects, human and animal hair, leaves, mosses, lichen, feathers, sticks, twigs, shells, and bones—all assembled, stacked, woven, molded, or merely scraped with only beak and claw (or sometimes body)—into an instinctive creation meant to foster and protect the next generation of their species. Add the fact that birds know where to put them—in a territory that provides enough insects, nectar, seeds, worms, caterpillars, blossoms, fish, or other prey to feed themselves and their young—most often after navigating back to their natal home via a migration of hundreds or thousands of miles.

But survival for so many birds is tenuous in a world where habitat loss is as common as the next housing development, mega farm, or distant palm oil or coffee plantation. Even subtle changes in climate can affect food supply. It is my hope that these photographs invoke a curiosity about the lives of their builders—to inspire their protection, as well as the protection for all species of life on our small planet.