Contribute specimens

Wondering what to do with a dead bird you have found in your backyard? Consider contributing to the Tetrapod Collection! To arrange a drop-off of salvaged birds, please contact Curator.

All specimens contributed to the collection must be placed in a plastic bag, stored in a freezer, and kept frozen until the time of the drop-off. This will ensure that the birds stay in a good condition for research specimens and provide fresh tissue samples for genetic studies.

In the plastic bag, place a slip of paper with the following information:

1. Species name. If you are not sure about the identification, our bird experts will help you identify the bird upon arrival.

2. Date and time found. The exact date and time that you found the bird is very important to be recorded, because it can lead to answers to questions such as how the bird died, how old it was, whether it was breeding, wintering or migrating, etc.

3. Specific location bird was found as much detail as possible. For example, "Ohio, Franklin Co., Columbus, 1315 Kinnear Rd., Museum of Biological Diversity, by front door." Locality data have been used to track changes in species distributions over time and valuable for conservation studies. The more specific a location you can provide, the more valuable the specimen will be to the scientific community.

4. Your full name and contact information. (unless you do not want to provide the information)

Some additional information that will be helpful:

  • Photos of the surrounding area and habitat description. 
  • Latitude and Longitude. Using Google Maps or other mapping programs you can find the latitude and longitude of the location. Make sure to zoom in and place your point exactly where the bird was found to ensure that you provide the most precise location.
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