Our museums remain closed due to COVID-19. While LA County Public Health has entered Phase 3 of the Roadmap to Recovery, allowing for the reopening of museums on June 12, our museums are still slowly welcoming back staff and are in the process of planning for new health and safety protocols in our galleries and gardens. Therefore, we will not be reopening until later in the summer. Sign up here to be the first to know when we will safely re-open to the public and in the meantime, stay connected from home.


ornithology birds collections drawer research and collections

Ornithology, the study of birds, is one of the founding disciplines of the Natural History Museum. At the core of the program is a research collection of 121,000 bird specimens, representing over 5,400 species. Our collections are particularly strong for North America, Africa, South America, and the Pacific Ocean. The bird skeleton collection, representing over 17,000 individuals, is among the three largest in western North American and is an important resource for the museum’s well-known studies of fossil birds.


  • Study skins: can be used for studying coloration, getting DNA, morphology, stable isotopes, parasites, molt, reproduction
  • Skeletons: morphology, references for paleo work and zooarchaeological (including functional anatomy)
  • Data: localities can reflect distributions in time and space
  • Tissue collection: resource for different types of molecular studies
  • We are also a resource for field guide illustrators and fine artists 


Birds of LA County
Birds of Exposition Park

SEARch our Collections

The ornithology collection can be searched online through VertNet, iDigBio, or GBIF.  Our institution code is LACM and our collection code is Birds.

Collections Use, Loan Policies & Depositing Specimens 

Our Staff

Allison J. Shultz, Ph.D.
Assistant Curator, Ornithology

Allison is an ornithologist who integrates research across evolutionary timescales to gain an understanding of the processes that produce the patterns of biodiversity.

Kenneth Campbell, Ph.D.
Curator Emeritus, Ornithology

Dr. Campbell began his tenure at the Natural History Museum in 1977 as one of two curators to fill staff positions for the newly opened George C. Page Museum, a satellite facility of the Natural History Museum.

Kimball L. Garrett
Collections Manager, Ornithology

Collections Manager Kimball L. Garrett is responsible for the care and use of the ornithological collections, additions of specimens to the collections, and the databases associated with the collections


Questions? Contact us at birds@nhm.org.