About the Collection

Bird Teaching CollectionThe 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 (more than 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.

Dr. Keith Barker, Interim Curator

Bird Collection, Bell Museum of Natural History
University of Minnesota
100 Ecology Building
1987 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108

The bird collection's database can also be searched online through VertNet.

Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas

Over 400,000 scientific records and up to 175,000 high-resolution images make up our extensive online database.

This searchable interface integrates data on birds, mammals, fishes, plants, and fungi to provide public collections access and enhance agencies' capacity to perform a range of activities from biological surveys to conservation planning.