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Avian Architecture:
How Birds Design, Engineer, and Build
Peter Goodfellow

Winner of the 2011 PROSE Award in Popular Science & Popular Mathematics, Association of American Publishers

Hardcover | 2011 | $29.95 | ISBN: 9780691148496
160 pp. | 8 x 10 | 300 color illus.
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eBook | ISBN: 9781400838318 |
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Birds are the most consistently inventive builders, and their nests set the bar for functional design in nature. Avian Architecture describes how birds design, engineer, and build their nests, deconstructing all types of nests found around the world using architectural blueprints and detailed descriptions of the construction processes and engineering techniques birds use. This spectacularly illustrated book features 300 full-color images and more than 35 case studies that profile key species worldwide. Each chapter covers a different type of nest, from tunnel nests and mound nests to floating nests, hanging nests, woven nests, and even multiple-nest avian cities. Other kinds of avian construction--such as bowers and harvest wells--are also featured.

Avian Architecture includes intricate step-by-step sequences, visual spreads on nest-building materials and methods, and insightful commentary by a leading expert.

  • Illustrates how birds around the world design, engineer, and build their nests
  • Features architectural blueprints, step-by-step sequences, visual spreads on nest-building materials and methods, and expert commentary
  • Includes 300 full-color images
  • Covers more than 100 bird species worldwide


"I live in a nice clapboard house and work in a gleaming steel-and-glass skyscraper, but after reading Avian Architecture I feel cheated. I'll never get to enjoy the comforts of the nest of a long-tailed tit."--Henry Fountain, New York Times

"[Goodfellow] sharpens the focus to explore nests only from the perspective of their architecture--their form, function, construction materials, how they are made, and by whom. . . . We love finding nests but rarely pay attention to how they are built. Avian Architecture will magnify your sense of wonder. The book is chockablock full of detail presented in a very accessible way."--Wayne Mones,

"Goodfellow explores nest types and their design and construction. The text is excellent and the book is richly illustrated with drawings, photographs, and a selection of architectural blueprints for many nests."--Wayne Mones, Audubon Blog

"[Avian Architecture] is a compelling read. I couldn't put it down. Goodfellow organizes nests into general types: scrapes, holes, platforms, cups, woven nests and so on. He describes each nest type in great detail and illustrates the process with detailed artwork and photos."--Scott Shalaway, West Virginia Gazette

"This has got to be one of the coolest bird books I've ever come across. . . . Avian Architecture may unravel some of the mystery behind how birds make their nests, but Peter Goodfellow thoroughly reveals a complexity in nest building that makes birds all the more astounding. . . . Trust me, you're [going to] want this!"--Robert Mortenson, Birding Is Fun

"In a word, this book is 'magnificent'. Its 160 pages are loaded with the kind of photos and artwork that we've come to expect from Princeton University Press--exceptional. . . . This book delivers 100% of what the title promises--the design, engineering, and building of birds' nests."

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Table of Contents

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Hardcover: For sale only in the United States and Canada

Courts and Bowers
Courts and Bowers:
Great Bowerbird
Click to enlarge and view section

Mud Nests
Mud Nests:
Western Rock Nuthatch
Click to enlarge and view section

African Masked-Weaver

African Masked-Weaver
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     Hardcover : $29.95 ISBN: 9780691148496

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    File created: 7/11/2017

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