Jump to content
Ornithology Exchange
  • National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian


    Melanie Colón

    National Bird Collection

    The Division of Birds, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, houses and maintains the third largest bird collection in the world with over 640,000 specimens. Our National Collection, known in the ornithological literature by the acronym USNM (referring to our old name of United States National Museum), has representatives of about 80% of the approximately 9,600 known species in the world's avifauna. While the majority of these specimens consists of study skins, we also manage skeletal and anatomical (alcohol preserved) collections that are the largest in the world. Additional collections include egg sets, nests, and mounted skins. We are continuing to add about 1,500 specimens a year, many of them skeletons and fluid preserved anatomicals. In recent years tissues frozen in liquid nitrogen have also been preserved and are stored at the Molecular Systematics Laboratory. The Division of Birds also holds almost 4,000 type specimens upon which original taxonomic descriptions were based.This collection supports scientific research by resident staff and associates, as well as numerous visting scientists. Specimens are made available to researchers worldwide through collections visits, loans, and through our online database.

     

    The geographic coverage of our collection is worldwide, but some areas are obviously better represented than others. We have major holdings from North America, Central America, northern South America, eastern Africa, and southeast Asia. Regions that are insufficiently represented include southern South America, western Africa, Europe, northern Asia, and Australia.




    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.



    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • This database includes organizations of interest to the members of this online community. It is used primarily as a way to link content across the site. For example, the Publications Database and the Grants & Awards Database both link to this database.

×
×
  • Create New...