Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Taxidermied Birds at the Natural History Museum

Bearded Vulture (known as a Bartgeier in Switzerland). This magnificent bird went extinct in Switzerland in 1913 when the last one was shot, but the Swiss Alps were repopulated with the bearded vulture through an ambitious re-introduction program in the 1980s. I had the privilege of being eyed by one in flight as she swooped just 5 meters beside me while I was belaying a fellow climber on a cliff-side on Piz Kesch. I made eye contact with this beautiful, massive scavenger.
Let's take a look at an exhibit at the Natural History Museum before we move on through the city. The Birds exhibit is a magnificent collection of common, rare, and curious ornithological specimens.

An American Bald Eagle
A pheasant (this one is from China). These are such funny birds. I've only ever a glimpse of one running into a meadow in Maryland, but here in the UK, they are raised for game hunters and they are everywhere! I mean everywhere! And they aren't very smart, which means you often see them bopping around road sides, popping on and off golf course greens, and standing conspicuously in the open. But that doesn't change the fact that they are gorgeous fowl! I would love to raise a few from chicks myself someday.

Bird collection
The Dodo
And here's a photograph of a video display played in the ecology section of the museum. I was really excited that they have an ecology section, but I was less impressed with the display than in the rest of the museum. Still, even having an ecology section is a very good start!

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