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National Geographic

Need To Redecorate? Hire A Bowerbird!

I'm almost not even joking. Take the first photo in this gallery, for example. It looks like something you'd find in a modern art museum – and by that I just mean (and no offense to the rest of the animal kingdom): it looks man-made.

That's what draws scientists and photographers alike to bowerbirds. Their nests, technically called bowers, are deliberately crafted stick by stick, stone by stone – or in some cases bug by bug or scrap of litter by... you get it. It's true: Some of these birds recycle found scraps (we'll call them the humanitarians) while others kill other animals with the sole intention of using them in construction (the misanthropes). A story with photos by photographer Tim Laman appears in this month's National Geographic magazine.

They're pretty impressive creatures. Unfortunately, for some reason all I can think about is that scene in "The Three Caballeros," which I begrudgingly watched as a child. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, I definitely don't blame you.) In any case, if you haven't seen Tim Lamans' photography before, it's definitely worth checking out. See more, like monkeys "chilling" in Japanese hot springs, on his website. Or read the National Geographic article in its entirety.