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.