Digitizing Bird Bones

The Science Museum of Minnesota’s Biology Department is an accredited natural history collection of ~170,000 specimens. Highlights include the largest collection of mammals in the state, dense sampling of the flora and fauna of targeted locations within Minnesota, and specimens collected during expeditions throughout the Upper Midwest and to the Arctic, Antarctic, and Mexico. Our mission is to support and advance biological research and education, especially in the areas of evolution and climate change, by maintaining and growing a collection of regional strength and global importance. 
Right now, the biggest barrier to the access of our specimens by researchers, educators, and other members of the public is the lack of a digital database of our holdings, so we are excited to launch our first Notes from Nature expedition. This first expedition will digitize the records for our osteological specimens of birds, which are used for identification by scientists who work in and visit the Science Museum of Minnesota’s Paleontology and Anthropology Departments as well as the Biology Department. 

The tags being digitized in this expedition were photographed by Kari Myhran, a Macalester College student who received a Macalester Summer Internship Grant to work at the Science Museum of Minnesota. This work would be impossible without her and your contributions, which we deeply appreciate. We hope you enjoy learning about the birds in our osteology collection!

To check it out go to Notes from Nature

Select the ‘Labs’ Project from the ‘Active Projects’ list then look for ‘Digitizing Bird Bones’ on the middle of the page.

– The Science Museum of Minnesota’s Biology Department


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