The bird collection consists of approximately 67,000 study skins, 9,000 skeletons, and 36,000 clutches of eggs. The holdings represent about 4,000 bird species. About 140 taxa are in the type collection. The skeleton collection was 18th in the world in 1986 (Wood & Schnell 1986), and the egg collection is second largest in North America (Kiff & Hough 1985). All skeletal data are entered into a computer database, as are all of the study skins. The egg collection data is not in a database. The collection, worldwide in scope, has especially strong collections of Philippine and Central and South American birds. Extinct species are also represented. Formation of the collection began when the Museum was founded in 1957. Among the collections that can be found here are those of George Miksch Sutton, Allan R. Phillips, Olin S. Pettingill, T.D. Burleigh, D.S. Rabor, and M. Hachisuka - D.S. Ripley.
Further information about the collection and requests for data or loans should be directed to Curator of Birds Jean Woods, Ph.D., at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Bird Department staff is also responsible for the mammal, reptile, and amphibian collections.
Jean L. Woods, Ph.D., Curator of Birds, conducts research on bird songs and how differences in song among populations and species arise. She has researched song dialects in bobolink populations in Michigan and the development of song in the brood-parasitic indigo birds of Africa. This year she started looking into the songs of two races of the Yellow-throated Warbler. In addition to collecting some basic information about song in this species, she is interested in how the songs of the two local races of this species (sycamore nesting and pine nesting) differ.
Kiff, L.F. and D.J. Hough. 1985. Inventory of bird egg collections of North America, 1985. American Ornithologists' Union and Oklahoma Biological Survey, Norman, Oklahoma. 259pp.
Wood, D.S. and G.D. Schnell. 1986. Revised world inventory of avian skeletal specimens, 1986. American Ornithologists' Union and Oklahoma Biological Survey, Norman, Oklahoma. 296pp.
Wood, D.S., R.L. Zusi, and M.A. Jenkinson. 1982. World inventory of avian spirit specimens, 1982. American Ornithologists' Union and Oklahoma Biological Survey, Norman, Oklahoma. 181 pp.
Jean Woods, Ph.D.
Delaware Museum of Natural History
4840 Kennett Pike
P.O. Box 3937
Wilmington, DE 19807-0937
302-658-9111, ext. 314