Happy holidays!

Edit: I have added identifications to each photo in the caption.

The curators at the museum decorate for the holidays by changing around the mounted specimens on display. (These are all pretty old, usually gifted to us – we almost never mount specimens in a lifelike way.) For Thanksgiving, all the specimens on display were edible animals.

For the winter holiday season… quiz! What connects all of the specimens in these pictures?

(And if you’re not into the quiz, here is your holiday/day-before-the-end-of-the-world gift: a video of a sledding crow.)


Northern Hawk Owl


Common Murre


Horned Puffin


Snowy Owl


Snow Goose


Long-tailed Jaeger (not sure why his bill is so orange – possibly an effect of specimen aging?)


Peregrine Falcon


Rough-legged Hawk


Long-tailed Duck


Surf Scoter


Another Snowy Owl


Rock Ptarmigan

I’ll comment with IDs for all of these – and the answer – in a few days, so answer the quiz before then!

10 thoughts on “Happy holidays!

      • I could have used the Peregrine Falcon picture when I wrote my posts about the “My Side of the Mountain” books.

        Do you have an Eskimo Curlew in your collection? I have a 2nd Cousin a few generations removed (Delos Hatch) who was a naturalist in Wisconsin. He captured one in 1903. When I write about him someday I would like to have a picture of one.

    • According to the online records, we have six Eskimo Curlews, none collected more recently than 1889. All appear to be study skins, however, not mounted display skins like the ones in this post, so they might not make for the greatest photos.
      There’s a photo of a display specimen from Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Numenius_borealis_(Harvard_University).JPG
      Looking forward to the post about your cousin, he sounds like an interesting guy!

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