The birds collection totals 2,100 specimens. The primary geographic area of representation is the western Edwards Plateau of Texas. A minor collection from Guyana, South America, is also present.
The collection was began in 1968 and remained relatively small for 20 years. Within the last decade, collection organization has formalized and rate of specimen addition has accelerated. A significant portion (about 35 percent) of the collection is of teaching material (much from zoology gardens). Since the collection’s inception, the curator had been Dr. Terry C. Maxwell, who retired in May 2014. The collection’s new curator, Dr. Benjamin R. Skipper has taken over and is looking forward to seeing the collection grow.
The main function of the birds collection is teaching, although research-quality data with specimens is available and has contributed to published ornithology.
Specimens are available for examination in the collection area. Request for visitation should precede a trip to the university as staffing and hours are irregular. Specimens can be sent on loan, usually not to exceed 60 days without justification.
Data for specimens in the collection of birds is entered in a searchable database. Selected information from the database is searchable through our web interface. Although every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of catalogue information, researchers should verify information before use or publication. For additional information not provided through the searchable web interface, or if you have questions, please contact the curator.
Curator of Ornithology
Dr. Ben R. Skipper, newly hired Curator of Ornithology at ASNHC, arrived at ASU in the fall of 2014. Originally from Alabama, Dr. Skipper earned his B.S. in Wildlife Science at Auburn University, his M.S. in Biology at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and his Ph.D. in Natural Resources Management at Texas Tech University. While at Texas Tech, he studied adaptations for urban breeding by Mississippi Kites. His research interest is focused on the distribution and life history of Neotropical birds with emphasis on birds of prey.
At ASU, Dr. Skipper teaches courses in Ornithology, Geograhic Information Systems (GIS), and Ecology. Within the ASNHC, he is working towards identifying and filling gaps in the collection and building strong teaching and research collections to be used in courses at ASU and elsewhere.