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UMMZ Birds Collection

Latest version published by University of Michigan Museum of Zoology on Jul 16, 2018 University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

Through the efforts of University of Michigan faculty-curators and staff, the Museum of Zoology (UMMZ) develops and maintains excellent zoological collections explicitly for use in research and education benefiting science, society, and the university.</br></br> The faculty staff and various graduate students of the Birds Division conduct research on the phylogenetic relationships, evolution and behavior of a wide variety of birds using museum collections, molecular techniques, and captive and field studies. </br></br> The skins collection consists of approximately 176,000 specimens (6th largest in North America; about 2/3 of the species of the world), housed in 224 cases (133 double, 190 single, 1 triple), approximately 5000 sq. feet. In addition to study skins, the collection also includes other special preparations such as 1457 flat pelts and 636 spread wings and tails. The skin collection contains 317 holotypes and 3 lectotypes. These are not available for loan. An annotated list is available (UMMZ Misc. Publ. No. 174, R. W. Storer, 1988). A list and images of our types are available electronically. Extinct species are represented also.</br></br> The skeletons collection represents approximately 23,800 specimens, 3,500 species (4th largest in the world in number of specimens, 2nd in number of species after the U.S. National Museum) stored in 60 cases, approximately 700 sq. feet. The only families missing are: Mesoenatidae, Rhynochetidae, Dromadidae, Leptosomatidae, Oxyrunchidae, Acanthisittidae, Atrichornithidae, Hyposittidae, and Callaeidae. About 1/2 of the skeleton specimens are from the United States. Other geographic areas for which we have larger collections include: Argentina (830), Australia (485), Canada (435), Costa Rica (1000), Egypt (1000), Ghana (490), Mexico (650), New Caledonia (140), Paraguay (1160), Philippines (340), Surinam (370), and Tanzania (340).</br></br> Additional collections include:</br></br> Eggs and nests: 4,600 egg sets and 573 nests in 26 cases.</br></br> Fluid collection: 4,250 specimens (18th largest in the world), 464 linear feet of shelving and 27 linear feet of floor space for tanks. Also available are 1100 fluid preserved syrinxes.</br></br> Frozen tissues: Samples from about 4,800 individuals stored in an ultra-cold freezer.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 211,063 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 211,063 records in English (18 MB) - Update frequency: unknown
Metadata as an EML file download in English (11 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (9 KB)


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

UMMZ Bird Collection


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: be5507b9-7abf-4b69-afe1-5ca2b7561734.  University of Michigan Museum of Zoology publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by U.S. Geological Survey.




Who created the resource:

Janet Hinshaw
Collection Manager
University of Michigan Museum of Zoology 1109 Geddes Ave, 3020 Ruthven 48109 Ann Arbor MI US +01 734-764-0457

Who can answer questions about the resource:

Janet Hinshaw
Collection Manager
University of Michigan Museum of Zoology 1109 Geddes Ave, 3020 Ruthven 48109 Ann Arbor MI US +01 734-764-0457

Who filled in the metadata:

Janet Hinshaw
Collection Manager
University of Michigan Museum of Zoology 1109 Geddes Ave, 3020 Ruthven 48109 Ann Arbor MI US +01 734-764-0457

Who else was associated with the resource:

Laura Russell
VertNet Programmer
David Bloom
VertNet Coordinator
John Wieczorek
Information Architect
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley
Point Of Contact
John Torgersen
Database Administrator
University of Michigan LSAIT - Infrastructure LSA Building, 500 S. State Street, Suite 1112 48109 Ann Arbor MI US +01 734-615-1771

Geographic Coverage

All geographic regions are represented, with specimens from 273 countries. About 109,000 specimens are from the United States, including 46,000 from Michigan. Other states which are well represented are Alaska, Arizona, the Dakotas, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Texas. Other areas of the world represented by large numbers of specimens are Canada, Labrador, Chiapas, Yucatan, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Paraguay, Egypt, sub-Saharan Africa, the Philippines, and southern Asia from Iran, Kashmir, and northern India to Assam.

Bounding Coordinates South West [-90, -180], North East [90, 180]

Taxonomic Coverage

Of 172 families of living birds, 169 are represented. Of approximately 2057 genera of birds, we have 1792. The collection contains about 6,557 species and 40 hybrids. Particular strengths are in the grebes (Podicipediformes), shorebirds and alcids (Charadriiformes), African waxbills (Estrildidae) and viduine finches (Viduinae) in both skin and skeletal collections.

Order  Podicipediformes (grebes),  Charadriiformes (shorebirds and alcids)
Family  Estrildidae (African waxbills),  Viduidae (viduine finches)

Temporal Coverage

Formation Period 1830s-present

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers be5507b9-7abf-4b69-afe1-5ca2b7561734