Sharon Beals: Nests

Terminal 1

March 2014 - April 2014

Sharon Beals: Nests

San Francisco-based photographer Sharon Beals has photographed nineteenth and twentieth century bird nests preserved in museum and science collections since 2007. She uses her images to create awareness of native habitats, as well as, river and ocean conservation. Beals was compelled to photograph nests for their form and the spectacular color of bird eggs. Her images provide insight into the beauty and mystery of nature’s extraordinary architects. Birds masterfully and instinctually transform sticks and twigs, as well as, spider webs, caterpillar cocoons, plant down, mud, found objects, human and animal hair, mosses, lichen, and feathers into future homes for their young.

Beals photographs nest and egg specimens collected over the last two centuries by scientists at the California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates, and the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. While few nests are collected today, these specimens are used for research, providing important information about bird habitats, DNA, diseases, and other environmental factors. Through her photography, Beals’ passion is to inspire others to learn about birds and care about the conservation issues that affect us all. 

Beals’ photographs are in many private and public collections, including the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.; U.S. Department of State, Office of Art in Embassies, Washington, D.C.; California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco; and the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Lincoln, Massachusetts. 

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