Bird Collection

There are about 29,000 specimens of birds in this collection. The bird collection is arranged as per the ‘Synopsis of Birds of India and Pakistan’ by Ripley. For easy accessibility the specimens are properly classified and arranged systematically in 63 cabinets, each cabinet consisting of various trays or boxes.

This collection also houses the specimens of rare, endangered and or extinct species of birds. The most important holding in the bird collection is the five specimens of Pink-headed Duck. This species is thought to be extinct as the last reliable record of this bird in the wild was in 1935. There are 275 specimens of Pheasants including 5 skins of highly endangered Western Tragopan and 6 skins of Cheer Pheasant. Apart from this there is a single specimen of highly endangered Jerdon’s Courser, 1 Siberian Crane, 13 White-backed Vulture, 6 Long-billed Vulture, 4 Megapod, 10 White-winged Wood Duck, 7 Great Indian Bustard, 5 Lesser Florican and 9 Bengal Florican in the Collection.The collection of type specimens is of immense value as there are 2 Holotypes, 9 Paratypes and 1 cotype of birds in the collection.

Apart from the collection of specimens, these surveys potentially resulted in some of the pioneering publications in the field of ornithology like The Birds of Kutch (1945); Indian Hill Birds (1949); The Birds of Travancore and Cochin (1953) revised and renamed as Birds of Kerala (1968);  The Birds of Sikkim (1962) and The Birds of Eastern Himalayas. The collection also formed the basis for the ten volumes of ‘Handbook of Birds of India and Pakistan’ (1968-1974). The series of research papers based on these surveys and published by Mr. Humayun Abdulali on Birds of Andaman & Nicobar Islands are equally valuable reference to ornithologists.