An important component of the NYSM Ornithology Collection is our world-class holdings of nearly 6000 “sets” of bird eggs. These beautiful, delicate specimens were all collected by Victorian era naturalists at a time when dedicated study of natural history was the rage and private specimen collections were common. Today these specimens are used to study changes in historic breeding ranges and the timing of bird breeding seasons.
The egg collection has recently been inventoried and re-housed in new specimen cabinets, and the thousands of hand-written data labels have been digitally photographed and are available on-line. NYSM Curator of Birds, Dr. Jeremy Kirchman, will talk about these recent upgrades and new research using bird egg specimens. A selection of egg sets will be available for visitors to examine.