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Global Insight

Why over 600,000 bird specimens are preserved at the Smithsonian


The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has one of the biggest bird collections in the world, housing over 600,000 specimens, from ducks to eagles to peacocks. The collection was created over 200 years ago and is still being added to today. But why does the museum still need more and more specimens? Research and wildlife management, notably reducing the amount of bird strikes. We went to the Smithsonian to see how just one specimen gets added to the skins collection, one of the most detailed processes in the department that creates a record of historic birds to be used for generations to come.
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