zoology collections

Eggs and Nests Collections

The specimens in the eggs and nests collection provide an irreplaceable geographic and temporal record of egg diversity and avian reproductive behavior in the Rocky Mountain/Great Plains region and abroad

The eggs and nests collection contains more than 7,000 specimens from around the world (1842 to present), with a focus on the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains regions of North America and Europe. The collection is worldwide in scope (five out of seven continents represented). Ordinal diversity in the collection is excellent with specimens from 27 of the world’s 46 bird orders represented by at least one specimen. Growth of the collection continues primarily through salvage activities.

Specimens are available for loan. Loan requests are subject to approval and should be directed to the appropriate curator of ornithology (Garth Spellman, PhD). Loan requests should include a brief description of the project and proposed use of the requested material. Requests for loans by graduate students or postdocs must be cosigned by the major advisor.


Garth M. Spellman, PhD

Associate Curator of Ornithology

Jeffrey T. Stephenson

Zoology Collections Manager

Andrew Doll, MS

Zoology Assistant Collections Manager

Courtney J. Scheskie, MA

Business Support Specialist

Significant Specimens

Significant specimens in the collection include eggs from the lava gull (Leucophaeus fuliginosus). These specimens were the ones used in the first publication to describe the eggs of the species.

Irreplaceable Specimens From Extinct Taxa

Eggs from passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) and two intact eElephant bird eggs (Aepyornis maximus).

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