Bird Study Skins and Teaching Materials

The WFVZ houses more than 56,000 study skin specimens representing over 100 countries, with the largest numbers of specimens from the United States (>12,900), Mexico (>12,600), Malaysia (>4,400), Costa Rica (>4,000), and Ecuador (>3,800). The skin collection is at least the 16th largest among North American collections.

The primary sources for specimens currently are wildlife rehabilitation organizations; wildlife research agencies; birds killed by cats, window strikes, and car impacts; and the Foundation’s own field research projects. Materials are consistently acquired by the Western Foundation and used by researchers, educators, scientific artists, and other museums. In addition, materials are used in educational tours and presentations for the general public, both at the Foundation and at outside events.

Skin loans are made to qualified researchers.  Please see our Loan Policies (LINK) page, and our List Of Services (PDF).

Teaching Materials

The WFVZ houses more than 600 mounted bird specimens, and more than 4,500 “no-data” teaching specimens (skins, wings, egg sets, and nests) that we loan temporarily to local educators to use. Our live-mounts of birds are used primarily during our public tours and tours for school and civic groups. We also have available a “teaching kit” that includes background information on 5 different avian science topics (for middle and high school students); a checklist of the birds of Ventura County; and nest, egg, and study skin specimens. All teaching material loans are free. Contact us for more information.