Smithsonian NMNH bird collection, photo by Chip Clark

Feather identification expert Roxie Laybourne, amidst a portion of NMNH's bird collection. Photo by Chip Clark.

  • Blorian 5y

    Is these for the museum? Why collect so many samples in here?
  • Jyri Engestrom PRO 5y

    Like looking inside Noah's Ark.
  • Paul Chinetti 5y

    Why? How? Do they not decompose?
  • Mark 5y

    It's not dead, it's sleeping.
  • laurajane_photography 5y

    this is probably one of the weirdest things i've ever seen. how on earth does one acquire that many dead birds, and why would one want to?
  • Richard F Jones 5y

    Well, first you have to kill 'em all....;-)
  • David Sweeney 5y

    Beautiful Plumage.
  • Karl Stanton 5y

    If you hadn't nailed him to the perch, he'd be pushing up the daisies!
  • David Shapiro 5y

    Thanks @Lynt. I was waiting for a Monty Python reference. :)
  • Joana Garrido 5y

  • Richard 5y

  • camera_obscura [busy] PRO 5y

    Some weird blend of Monty Python, Indiana Jones and Foucault ...
  • Sherri Keller 5y

    Oh no. That's horrifying. I thought it was all corn on the cob at first. Brrr...
  • Mark Crummett 5y

    Speaking as a hoarder, this makes me hyperventilate with envy.
  • peregrine2000 5y

    The reason that there are so many specimens is because they are used in research. Most natural history museums and institutions have extensive collections that provide insight into things as diverse as evolution, human impact on environments and diseases. In many cases new species of mites and other parasites have been found on museum skins such as those pictured here. Collections such as those pictured here are invaluable and are used by scientists all around the world. Many were also collected over hundreds of years, these are most likely from the mid to late 1800's.
  • kayteefay 5y

    This is actually at the Smithsonian, not AMNH:
  • Endless Forms Most Beautiful 5y

    Thanks kayteefay.
  • sławomir 5y

    this is soo spooky.
  • Andrey Timofeev 4y

  • helena Brandao 2y

    Some of them are likely to be there taxidermized for ages. Most die form natural causes and are brought to the labs by owners or finders. Some were killed, i dont doubt. But majorly, thats not how it happens. The ones are killed were probably being studied, and some good might have come out of that to help many others of the species. know, it sounds brute. But this is how medicine and vet medicine ever got to the point of cure we dispose fo nowadays.
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Taken on February 26, 2009
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