MVZ Bird Collection
The MVZ bird collection houses over 179,000 catalogued
specimens, placing it as one of the largest in the United States. The majority
of specimens are study skins, but the collection also contains approximately
20,000 skeletal specimens and 3,200 fluid-preserved specimens. There are 172
holotypes and two syntypes.
The collection is taxonomically synoptic,
with representatives of every Recent order of birds. For most orders there
is at least 70% representation at the generic level. Although the collection
contains specimens from every continent and major ocean in the world, the
strength of its geographic representation is western North America, from Alaska
and British Columbia southward through southern Mexico. In addition, there
are major series of specimens from Central America (especially El Salvador
and Costa Rica), South America (in particular, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay,
and Argentina), the Hawaiian Islands, the South Pacific, and Australia.
Avian vocalizations are routinely recorded
in the field, many of which are associated with MVZ catalogued specimens.
The majority of recordings are of passerine birds, but the sound collection
also contains significant recordings of owls, hummingbirds, and other taxonomic
groups. Sound recordings for approximately 300 species are stored on 400
reel-to-reel or cassette tapes.
to query the MVZ database
to read the MVZ's policy on specimen loans