What does a bird curator do? Part II

As a component of the professional training in FLIGHTLOSS, I have the unique opportunity to learn from the best through a bespoke curatorial program. Thus, I will spend at least a day with each curator to do hands-on work in the collections, which will provide me with experience that is hard to get by. After spending a day with Hein and a Magpie, next up were the anatomical collections with Senior Curator Joanne Cooper and Curator Judith White.

Among the alcohol specimens, I did some inventory and strategic reshuffling, marvelling at the some really cool specimens. I even nailed the species ID for an unidentified specimen. Pickles can be stored rather differently depending on size and abundance…

For skeleton specimens, the bulk of the prep work is actually outcourced—to beetles. Once they have munched away, there is still some more cleaning to do. After that follows the task to permanently label each and every bone with the voucher (registration) number of the specimen. A task that requires patience and precision! Finally, since I am working on flight loss in birds, I must throw in a photo of a flightless celebrity!

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