University of Copenhagen
University of Copenhagen

Natural History Museum of Denmark




The ornithological collections comprise of approximately 120,000 skins of 5,700 species. The anatomical collection comprises 11,000 specimens preserved in ethanol (most not formalin fixed) and 15,500 skeletons, half of which are partial and have a corresponding skin. The egg collection comprises 17,000 clutches. The collections also house 6,000 mounted specimens, primarily from former exhibits. Approximately half of specimen holdings are from Denmark, Greenland, and the North Atlantic area. Additional geographical strengths in the specimen holdings include the Andes, South East Brazil, East Africa, Central Asia, and certain Australasian and Oceanic archipelagos. The tissue collection comprises 35,000 samples of 3,600 species, with broad geographical coverage. Rarities include the skull and other type of material of the Dodo (Raphus cucullatus); two mounted specimens, an egg, soft tissue (in ethanol) and skeletal material of the Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis); one of the world’s three surviving Crested Shelduck (Tadorna cristata) specimens; and 78 name-bearing type specimens. Nearly all specimens are identified to species, although about 15% of the collection remains uncatalogued. Record digitization is ongoing 65,000 records have been digitized.

Selected specimens

Take a peek

View all 68597 objects in the Birds collection

Collection staff

Curator of Ornithology

  • Pete Andrew Hosner

Collection Manager of Ornithology

Collection Manager, primarily Quaternary Collection