First picture top right hand corner. Dead bird …super bad.
Hey, artist here! I thought I’d give some additional commentary, as it seems some of my original writing were deleted somewhere in the reblog line.
I work at a birds research museum that has been collecting Ornithological Specimens since the 1800s. So yes, everything in that top picture is from dead birds, not just the bird in the top rt corner (as we certainly didn’t get the wing from a living parrot, we’re taxidermists/scientists not evil, lol). The museum I work at holds one of the largest skins collections in the USA- some 15000+ birds and probably one of the most diverse international collections.
Having this many birds is incredibly useful in analyzing species. In fact, its our goal to have at least 2 samples of both male and females for each species we possibly can. By having a large sample size at hand, we can compare traits and properly sort species/subspecies etc. Also, by recording time/place of collection, we are able to note changes in a population over time. For example, we’ve had visiting researchers note field observations that a species of birds in a certain region had measured smaller(?) wings than they did about 50 years ago, which they hypothesized allowed those birds to better dodge faster cars on the many highways near their nesting/feeding areas. By having our specimens on hand, the researcher was able to have historical sample sizes that allowed them to compare their finding from the same species in that region before cars and after showing, ultimately showing their theory as plausible.
Yes, we get these birds in many ways. in the olden days, it was pretty common for birds to be shot, stolen, or traded. But now a days, we receive birds that were killed by either natural causes or accidents, and due to the importance of location, their collection history and who collects it is heavily documented. This documentation also helps prevent trading/killing of protected birds. Today, most come from awesome science-loving citizen walk-ins (ie someone brings in a bird that died by hitting their windows, etc), zoos, road kill, pets (one parrot in this section even had its name on its specimen label, Ms Tribbles or something), or carcasses found near hawk nests, etc.
Yeah these are all dead birds (and yes, they smell, oh my gosh do they smell), but we also gain a huge amount of scientific value by having such a huge research collection on hand.
But anyways, here is a long rant about birds and museums, just so everyone knows that these dead birds are for research and not just some eerie macabre collection.
[ps. I work as an assistant at the museum and have not officially studied Ornithology, if anyone wants to add links or correct me please comment!]
(Source: ashboudrie) —