Tucson Museum Workshop

Museum Birding: From the Specimen Drawer to the Field

Thursday, August 13

10:30 am

Register here

How do we birders know the things we think we know? Where do “field marks” come from? And what on earth do all those dead birds on their backs have to do with our hobby as we practice it in the 21st century?

orioles West Mexican Birds, museum skins 093

Join me on August 13 for a two-hour workshop exploring the intimate connections between museum specimens and conservation, research, and even recreational birding. We will discover how collections are formed and maintained, and learn about the sometimes surprising results when old specimens are brought to bear on new problems.

whtie fronted front and lilac crowned back parrots West Mexican Birds, museum skins 025

After an introduction to the enduring value of natural history collections, we will discuss a number of the Southwest’s rarest and most challenging birds, illustrated with representative specimens from among the more than 18,000 held by the University of Arizona.

Along with stories of collecting adventure, daring, and even foolishness, we will all come away with new knowledge we can use in the field—and a new respect for the sources of that knowledge, sources lying quietly on their backs in wooden drawers.

West Mexican Birds, museum skins 087

You can find out more, and sign up to participate, on the website of the Tucson Bird and Wildlife Festival. See you there!