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). Please fill out this form to get the process started.  Be advised that requests for loans by graduate students or postdocs must be cosigned by the major advisor.

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 include eggs from passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) and two intact Elephant bird eggs (Aepyornis maximus).


Garth M. Spellman, PhD

Associate Curator of Ornithology

Andrew Doll, MS

Zoology Collections Manager

Cameron Pittman, MS

Assistant Collections Manager of Vertebrate Zoology

Courtney J. Scheskie, MA

Business Support Specialist III

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