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Museums

British Museum of Natural History - London ©Creative Commons

Museums not only house exhibits for the public to admire or learn from but they are often home to larger collections that most of us never see, down in the bowels of the earth may be thousands of birdskins, eggs or nests for each generation to study. Some will allow even amateur ornithologists access to draw or make diagnostic notes. Many now have huge amounts of information on line including collections of scientific papers. They may, too, answer queries that stump everyone else.

Listed below are Museums which either house significant collections of bird skins, fossil records or host the study of birds and house appropriate information so that they may be considered a source for amateur birders and professional ornithologists alike. We would love to hear from you if you think you have a link we should add.

Museums are sometimes part of Universities and some universities hold their own collections of specimens which may be available to study. They will also house scientific papers and I have included some Universities below that have large and well reputed ornithology departments.

Each country and state page now carries a section with relevent museums and university departments listed with appropriate links.

Museums

Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies

https://www.unlv.edu/hrc

Welcome to the home page of the Ornithology Division of the Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies, located on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas…

Other Links

Museum - Joseph Moore Museum

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…and observe birds and mammals in their natural habitat.

University - Alaska University Museum

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With emphasis on the birds of north-westernmost North America, including taxa endemic to Beringia and the circumpolar North, the Bird Collection is the best in existence of avian material from Alaska. Almost all bird species and subspecies known in Alaska are represented and are preserved primarily as skins, skeletons, and tissues. The collection consists of approximately 9,000 birds. Most recent preparations include skin, skeleton, tissue, and stomach samples for each individual.

Museum - Australian Museum

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The ornithological collection contains about 70,000 specimens. In addition to the major Australian collection, there is a good coverage of New Guinea, New Zealand and South Pacific birds and a large representation (95%) of the world families. Although the skin collection makes up the majority of the ornithological holdings, osteological, anatomical and oological (egg) collections provide an important coverage of the Australian avifauna. Collection data are on a computer-based system.

Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies

Website

Welcome to the home page of the Ornithology Division of the Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies, located on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas…

University - Berkeley - California

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The MVZ Bird Collection has 174,000 specimens, placing it as one of the largest in the US. The majority of the specimens are preserved as study skins but the collection also contains skeletons, skins associated with skeletal material, and fluid-preserved specimens. In addition it contains 14,000 sets of nests and/or EGG sets. In the last 15 years special effort has been made to preserve an array of materials in conjunction with each specimen. Hence, recordings of bird SONGS and frozen TISSUE samples are routinely taken in addition to data on body weight, skull pneumatization, amount of fat, and reproductive condition. Extensive field NOTES with habitat descriptions, MAPS, and PHOTOGRAPHS are also generally associated with each specimen.

Museum - California Academy of Sciences - Natural History Museum

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California's biological past and into the present day diversity of its native plants and animals…

Museum - Chicago Academy of Science

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Ornithology - One of the best known of the Academy collections, consisting of 12,000 skins and over 1,000 mounted specimens. An important addition in 1965 was the donation of 3,600 specimens from S. S. Gregory, which includes ivory-billed woodpeckers and Carolina parakeets. In all, 583 species of North American birds are represented. Fully 30 per cent of the birds were collected before 1900, including important Illinois specimens from Robert Kennicott and Benjamin T. Gault. There is also a valuable collection of nearly 1,000 Alaskan skins.

University - Copenhagen University Zoological Museum

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The main collection comprises study skins, altogether c. 110,000 specimens of c. 7,000 species. This collection is arranged in systematic order and with a geographical subdivision within individual species. Half of this collection is from Denmark and the North Atlantic Dependencies, obtained mainly by Finn Salomonsen. There are modest collections from Scandinavia and relatively little from other parts of Europe. Important sections comprise the private collection of Lehn Schiøler of c. 30,000 Nordic waterfowl, collected mainly for detailed studies of of seasonal and age-related plumage variations. Large series also exist of shorebirds. The series of gyrfalcons Falco rusticolus comprises c. 800 specimens , representing c. half of all material kept in museums. An historically important collection is c. 100 mounts from the beginning of the 19th Century (Peter C. Wöldike).

University - Cornell Ornithology Collection

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The Cornell University Ornithology Collection contain a record of the development of ornithology at Cornell from the earliest days of Arthur A. Allen and Louis Agassiz Fuertes. Dr. Arthur A. Allen, on the faculty at Cornell from 1915 until 1953, made the name Cornell nearly synonymous with ornithology in the United States. Allen contributed many birds to the collection (notably a large series of all recognised subspecies of Ruffed Grouse); and possibly even more importantly, attracted a very large number of students interested in birds. His numerous students contributed specimens from their research and travels all over the United States, Canada, Mexico, and other parts of the globe

Museum - Florida Museum of Natural History – Ornithology Collection

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The Pierce Brodkorb Ornithology Collection (UF/PB) is one of three separate catalogues within the Vertebrate Palaeontology (VP) range at FLMNH. It represents the collection of fossil birds amassed by the late Professor Pierce Brodkorb of the University of Florida and recently acquired, integrated and computer catalogued by FLMNH with support from the National Science Foundation. This catalogue consists of nearly 10,000 numbers with a few thousand still being processed. It includes four dozen types not identified as such. A larger number of fossil birds are catalogued in the main collection (UF) and a few thousand occupy the former Florida Geological Survey Collection (UF/FGS). The large collection of modern bird skeletons also acquired from the late Professor Brodkorb are separately catalogued in the Ornithology range at FLMNH. Comments or inquiries.

Museum - Fernbank Museum of Natural History - Georgia USA

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767 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30307 ++! 404.929.6300

Museum - Natural History Museum (UK)

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The origin of the Zoological Museum at Tring is the result of one man`s obsession for collecting. That man was Lionel Walter Rothschild. Today, preserved as it was originally conceived, the Museum is a wonderful example of traditional Victorian mounted specimen displays. What`s more there is a collection of 2.5 million bird skins of 9000 species!

Museum - Peabody Museum - Yale

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The Ornithology collection at the Peabody Museum is among the most comprehensive in North America, and has international significance in several areas including skeletal and pickled (wet preserves) specimens. Overall, the collection contains material for more than 6,500 species, over 70 percent of the birds of the world. The old Yale University collection of some 6,000 to 8,000 skins has grown to over 100,000 since 1950. There is excellent taxonomic coverage and good geographic coverage. The skeleton collection contains just over 9,000 specimens representing about 1,900 species. The collection of wet preserves contains approximately 13,000 specimens. Ornithology Library: the ornithology collection also has an extensive affiliated library containing books and journals. Questions can be directed by phone to (203) 432-3797, or email to: ornithology.library@yale.edu The ornithology collection is part of the Division of Vertebrate Zoology. Access to and use of the collections is available for scholarly use by legitimate researchers

Museum - Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences

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Growth and modernisation have characterised the last 26 years during which Frank Gill has guided the Ornithology Department. The collection of over 163,000 skins was the first in the nation to be housed in compactors and entirely recorded on a database. A variety of progressive programs have become integral parts of the department.

Museum - Slater Museum Ornithology Collection

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The Slater Museum of Natural History was founded as the Puget Sound Museum of Natural History in 1930. James R. Slater started the museum as a collection of reptiles and amphibians and was the director from 1930-1951. The Bird Division was established in 1934 by Gordon D. Alcorn,

Museum - Smithsonian Migratory Bird Centre

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The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Centre (SMBC) has developed a unique, interdisciplinary approach to the conservation of migratory birds. The SMBC combines research, education, training, and policy analysis to foster throughout the western hemisphere greater understanding, appreciation, and protection of birds and the grand phenomenon of avian migration. Our emphasis is on clarifying the causes for declines in migratory bird populations before the situation becomes desperate. The SMBC bridges the academic, policy-making, and public worlds, both within the United States and internationally, to promote the protection of migratory birds and their habitats.

University - UGA Museum of Natural History

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Friends of the Georgia Museum of Natural History site

Museum - Ornithology at The Natural History Museum

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The Bird Group, in the Department of Zoology of The Natural History Museum, is located at Tring, Hertfordshire, on the site of The Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum, bequeathed to The Natural History Museum in 1937. The bird collections were moved out from London in the early 1970s and are housed in part of the original Rothschild complex and in a purpose-built four-storey building.

Museum - National Museum of Australia

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Being built in Canberra, the national capital of Australia, to celebrate the Centenary of Federation in 2001.

University - National University of Hanoi Zoological Museum

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The museum contains about 1000 large mammal, 3000 bird, over 400 fish, over 650 snake and some turtle specimens. Many specimens, including a mounted collection, date from the French colonial period.

University -Peabody Museum

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The bird collection in the Yale Peabody Museum’s Division of Vertebrate Zoology is among the most comprehensive in North America, with international and historic significance in several areas…

Museum - Bishop Museum Hawaii

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Hawaii is the Endangered Species Capital of the World. With 100s of plants and animals listed as Endangered or Threatened, there are more endangered species per square mile on these islands than any other place on the planet.

Museums - San Diego Natural History Museum

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The San Diego Natural History Museum is dedicated to interpreting the natural world through research, education, and exhibits; to promoting understanding of the evolution and diversity of Southern California and the peninsula of Baja California; and to inspiring in all people respect for the environment.

Museum - Kokee Natural History Museum [Hawaii]

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Koke`e Natural History Museum is a little museum with heart open 365 days a year. Koke`e Museum provides interpretive programs and exhibitions about Kaua`i` s ecology, geology and climatology. Kokee`s Museum also provides basic information on trail conditions in Waimea Canyon and Koke`e State Parks.

Library - Edmund W. Mudge, Jr. Library of Ornithology - Dallas US

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The Edmund W. Mudge, Jr. Library of Ornithology, housed at the Dallas Museum of Natural History, is one of the most important and valuable illustrated bird libraries in the United States. It contains about 4,000 volumes relating to ornithology (the study of birds). Many are rare antique and landmark books, some dated as early as 1536.

University - University of Cape Town Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology

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Welcome to The Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology on line! This web site provides an overview of what the Institute is about, study opportunities, including the Institute`s Conservation Biology Masters Programme, and current research themes and projects. You can also familiarise yourself with the staff and students of the Institute, and visit our hot links page for some useful and interesting websites.

University - Bishop Burton College – Ornithology Degree Course

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Aim - The aim of this major is to provide a high degree of scientific knowledge about birds, and an understanding of the conservation issues relating to them. Special Features - This course has a compulsory field study component. How you Study - Delivery of the course is through lectures, seminars, field and laboratory practicals and tutorials. Included in the course are field study courses. Students who wish to take an industrial year out are encouraged to do so but this is not a compulsory requirement.

University - University of Helsinki

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Ringing centre…

Museum - McClung Museum

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Spanning two hundred years from 1731 to 1931, the prints on view are by 12 artists: Eleazar Albin, Mark Catesby, Xaviero Manetti, Alexander Wilson, Titian Ramsay Peale, Alexander Rider, Prideaux John Selby, John James Audubon, John Gould, Daniel Giraud Elliot, Henry Eeles Dresser, and Rex Brasher. The works on view are drawn from the museum’s extensive collection of over 3,000 ornithological prints and are on display in the pull-out drawer case in the entrance to the Decorative Arts gallery.

Zoological Society of London

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In Africa, Asia and the Middle East, ZSL staff are involved in many projects where there are threats to wildlife, but few resources to address them. Find out about ZSL`s projects in Ethiopia, Nepal, Rwanda and Saudia Arabia, where our staff work closely with the country`s local people and train them to protect and manage their own wildlife.

Museum - Field Museum (Chicago)

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The Field Museum was founded to house the biological and anthropological collections assembled for the World`s Columbian Exposition of 1893. These objects form the core of the Museum`s collections which have grown through world-wide expeditions, exchange, purchase, and gifts to more than twenty million specimens. The collections form the foundation of the Museum`s exhibition, research and education programs, which are further informed by a world-class natural history library of more than 250,000 volumes. There are interesting collections of books relating to the history of Ornithology in Columbia.

Museum - National Museum & Galleries of Wales

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Database of the mounted animals available for loan at the National Museum & Galleries of Wales. This database has been created to provide information on the mounted animals that the museum holds which are suitable for loan. Information provided is limited to: the scientific name and hierarchy; the common name; the nature and condition of the specimen; and the donor/vendor.

University - Massey - NZ

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To advance knowledge of biophysical systems and understanding of their management, to enable sustainable production and conservation of natural resources…