Vertebrate Collection/birds

< Vertebrate Collection

Welcome to the Gustavus Bird Collection!

The Gustavus Biology Department's collection of live-mounted bird specimens includes members of 16 orders and 36 families. Additional live-mounted specimens are present in the collection, but have degraded to an extent where they are no longer useful as study specimens. In addition to the department's live-mounted bird collection, its assemblage of study skins consists of 3 orders and 20 families, providing additional diversity in the collection. Both the live-mounts and study skins are primarily used as teaching instruments for courses at Gustavus, such as Vertebrate Zoology. Information on where and when individual specimens were collected is not present for most of the collection. As such, most of the specimens in the collection are not useful for studies in ecology or evolution, but can be used by students or faculty interested in other studies, such as Comparative Anatomy.

The live-mount collection is especially rich in dabbling and diving ducks from the family Anatidae, including the green-winged teal, common and hooded merganser, wood duck, and ring-necked duck. Also well represented are specimens from the family Phasianidae, including the ring-necked pheasant, gray partridge, greater prairie chicken, and ruffed grouse. In addition, the collection includes a variety of species from the family Icteridae, including the common grackle, red-winged blackbird, and eastern meadowlark.

Live-mounted bird specimens and study skins of reasonable quality are shown here. Within each order specimens are sorted first by family and then alphabetically by common name. Information on the common name, scientific name, class, order, family, number of specimens present, and, when available, the date the specimen was collected, the location of collection, and the sex of the individual are provided for each species. Additionally, each specimen has a link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website in order to provide a greater breadth of information.

For more information about the Gustavus Biology Bird Collection, please contact Dr. Jon Grinnell (, or Mr. Eric Elias (

Available Orders for Live-Mounted Birds

[Accipitriformes] (Hawks)

[Anseriformes] (Ducks)

[Apodiformes] (Swifts)

[Charadriiformes] (Small Water Birds)

[Columbiformes] (Pigeons)

[Coraciiformes] (Kingfishers)

[Cuculiformes] (Cuckoos)

[Galliformes] (Landfowl)

[Gaviiformes] (Loons)

[Gruiformes] (Rails)

[Passeriformes] (Perching Birds)

[Pelecaniformes] (Large Water Birds)

[Piciformes] (Woodpeckers)

[Podicipediformes] (Grebes)

[Strigiformes] (Owls)

[Suliformes] (Cormorants)

Available Orders for Study Skins

[Cuculiformes] (Cuckoos)

[Passeriformes] (Perching Birds)

[Piciformes] (Woodpeckers)