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Birds

The Natural History section comprises specimens of animals and birds mostly representative of those species that occur in the local district including such rarities as Ivory Gull and Great Gipsy Shrike. Birds-of-prey, both diurnal raptors and owls are well represented, probably obtained as a result of gamekeeper activity over the 19th century.

Birds
Birds

 

Moorhen Pheasant
Moorhen Pheasant

Other bird families are appropriately displayed and there is also an interesting range of albinos and melanistic individuals. The former extensive collection of birds eggs on show has now been transferred into storage and replaced by a much smaller range, housed in the relevant bird's nests, making for a far more natural, informative, and visually attractive feature.

Passenger pigeon
Passenger pigeon

However pride of place among the exhibits goes to the much prized specimen of the North American Passenger Pigeon. Regrettably the Museum has no provenance for this valuable item but considers itself extremely fortunate to have a representative of this beautiful but sadly long-extinct species in its possession.

Various birds
Bird skins - Standard method of presentation
of birds for scientific research