MSB Bird Collection (Arctos)

Latest version published by Museum of Southwestern Biology on Apr 18, 2024 Museum of Southwestern Biology
Publication date:
18 April 2024
CC0 1.0

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 47,975 records in English (38 MB) - Update frequency: unknown
Metadata as an EML file download in English (12 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (8 KB)


The MSB Division of Birds maintains an extensive research collection of over 40,000 bird specimens from western North America and around the world. Taxonomic coverage consists of all avian orders and approximately 85% of avian families. The oldest specimens are from the mid-1870’s, with most collected after the 1950’s. The collection has grown about 6-fold since 1989, and it continues to grow rapidly through salvage and research-driven collecting. Approximately 40% of the specimens have frozen tissues associated with them. Collection highlights include: Synoptic series of the Birds of New Mexico for ID reference and teaching; the personal collection of Dale Zimmerman, donated in 2004, which contributed significantly to the taxonomic and geographic scope of the collection; the collection of Amadeo Rea, upon which the book Once a River was based; raptors and game birds of J.M. Campbell; the J. Stokley Ligon collections (in part); and representative threatened, endangered and extinct species of North America. All but the most recent research specimens are published online via the database Arctos.

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 47,975 records.

1 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Occurrence (core)

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.


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

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Division of Birds, Museum of Southwestern Biology (MSB), University of New Mexico, Albuquerque


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Museum of Southwestern Biology. 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: c9076cd3-349f-4068-a5c7-bc34449c3916.  Museum of Southwestern Biology publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by U.S. Geological Survey.


Occurrence; Specimen; Occurrence


Christopher Witt
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Curator of Birds
Museum of Southwestern Biology
University of New Mexico
87131-0001 Albuquerque
(505) 277-8169
Laura Russell
  • Programmer
VertNet Programmer
David Bloom
  • Programmer
VertNet Coordinator
John Wieczorek
  • Programmer
Information Architect
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley
Dusty McDonald
  • Point Of Contact
Arctos Database Programmer
University of Alaska Museum
Andrew Johnson
  • Point Of Contact
Collection Manager, Birds
Museum of Southwestern Biology
University of New Mexico
87131-0001 Albuquerque
(505) 277-1359

Geographic Coverage

The geographical strength of the MSB bird collection is the American Southwest (Texas, Arizona, New Mexico). Worldwide, the collection has important holdings from Kenya, South Africa, and Peru, including modern Andean research collections sampled from elevational transects.

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

Taxonomic Coverage

The MSB bird collection is taxonomically broad, with 100% of avian orders and 85% of the bird families of the world represented.

Class Aves

Temporal Coverage

Living Time Period 1850 to present

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers c9076cd3-349f-4068-a5c7-bc34449c3916