Posted by: henrymcghie | September 3, 2012

The ‘oldest’ bird in the Museum-a Hummingbird

Image

Hello,

I’m working on a new gallery, ‘Nature’s Library’, which will open next year. This gallery will show specimens from all of our natural history collections (there are about 3 million specimens in total in these collections), so that visitors can explore the amazing breadth of the natural world. One of the display cases will explore how the collection is arranged and how we continue to add to it. We’ve been looking for the first specimens to be accessioned- when they legally became the property of the Museum. The accession registers are like an A-Z of nature: A= mammals, B= birds, C= reptiles and amphibians, D= fish, E=  molluscs, F= insects, G= spiders and crustaceans, H= other invertebrates, I= corals and sponges, and so on.

I made a discovery last week- the ‘first’ bird to be accessioned in the Museum, a South American Hummingbird bought from a Mr. Harrison in 1889. This is a study skin, kept in a drawer in a locked cabinet, to keep dust and insect pests out. The specimen has lasted very well considering how old it is. The specimen had been listed on a database in the past, but its accession number, B.1, hadn’t been added. We have lots of birds, about 16,000 or so, so it is difficult to keep track of every detail.

Henry

About these ads

Responses

  1. Hello! I just discovered your webpage: The oldest bird in the Museum-a Hummingbird | Nature Manchester when I was searching reddit.
    com. It looks as though someone enjoyed your website
    so much they decided to bookmark it. I’ll unquestionably be coming back here more often.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 45 other followers

%d bloggers like this: