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
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