Welcome to the On-line Database of The Field Museum's Collection of Birds

Welcome to the collection database of The Field Museum's Division of Birds. Our database contains approximately 445,000 catalogue records. Our collections house specimens of all orders of birds, all but one family, 90% of genera and 90% of the World's currently recognized species. The collection includes traditional study skins, skeletons, alcoholics, tissues, nests and eggs, stomach contents, and syringes.

Computerization of our collections was supported by the Field Museum and by two grants from The National Science Foundation. Our database is available and searchable from this web site and is provided to indicate the nature and extent of our collections in your area of interest. However, these data should not be treated as primary data. Although we are constantly updating taxonomy and checking specimen identifications and associated data, outdated names, mistaken identifications, and erroneous localities do occur in our data banks. Our collections continue to be added to, and our database will be updated monthly.

We do not charge for information from our collections. The data are the property of The Field Museum and are not to be repackaged or sold in any form. We expect users of our data to acknowledge The Field Museum in publications, and we request users send The Field Museum copies of all publications that use our specimens or data.

The information provided in the database is largely self-explanatory. We urge investigators to verify all specimen data by examination of the specimens themselves. We greatly appreciate notification of any discrepancies found, since this is our most effective means of quality control. We would also appreciate any suggestions for ways of making this web page more useful.

A few notes:

Taxonomy, with few exceptions, is based on Peters Check-List (so do not search for Melospiza, for example).

We hope our country designations will be self-explanatory, but we acknowledge some oddities. For example, we use West Indies as a country. Specimens from zoos or aviaries without detailed information on locality of capture have Captive under Country.

The specimen preparation type (e.g., skin, skeleton, etc.) is indicated for each record, so you can search our holdings specifically for skeletons, alcoholics, and tissues, for example.

Under molt, there are three main categories: "w" "t" and "b" (for wing, tail and body). A notation of "yes" in this field signifies that there was some non-specific notation of molt.

We are currently working on georeferencing our collection localities. Please be aware that the latitude and longitude coordinates you see in our records vary in their precision. Contact us with any questions.

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Please send all comments, questions and requests to:
Birds Collections Manager

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