The Bell Museum's Bird Collection currently houses approximately 46,000 catalogued specimens. Of these, the majority are standard, dried study skin preparations, although there are approximately 3,600 skeletons, 2,500 sets of eggs and 450 nests. Many of the recent specimens (> 4,000) have accompanying frozen tissue samples. Geographically, most specimens come from the upper midwest and the majority of these are from Minnesota. However, there are about 12,000 specimens from Mexico. We also have historically important collections from the Philippines resulting from the Menage expedition.
In addition to this research collection, we maintain a dedicated teaching collection that is actively used in courses at the University.
The bird collection's database can be searched online through ORNIS.
Dr. Robert M. Zink, Curator
Bird Collection, Bell Museum of Natural History
University of Minnesota
100 Ecology Building
1987 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108
Learn about Project BirdSafe
Curator Bob Zink is lead researcher on the Project BirdSafe team, working closely with Joanne Eckles (Minnesota Audubon) and a group of volunteers to understand the impact of human structures on migrating birds.