Florida Birders:

Bob Duncan's message regarding bringing rare bird specimens (e.g., Spizella
sparrows) found dead to local your natural history museum prompts this more
general plea.  Not only would Brewer's or Clay-colored Sparrow be nice, but
it is imperative to have extensive series of comparitive material (in this
case Chipping Sparrows --- both sexes, adults and juvs, in all plumages, in
all degrees of wear, from throughout the entire annual cycle) to insure the
identification.  Kurt Radamaker's message about Wilson's Warbler subspecies
is also pertinent;  these would definitiely be much better identified with
a specimen.

We the Florida Museum of Natural History (at the University of Florida in
Gaiensville) are interested in just about ANY bird specimen found, the
exceptions being big birds for which we already have decent series (and not
enough space) Double-crested Cormorants, Common Loons, Great Blue Herons,
Brown Pelicans, Red-shouldered Hawks.  If you find a freshly dead specimen
(no or minimal ants) that is not squished, note the exact locale and the
date found on a piece of paper, put the bird and  paper in a ziploc bag,
and put that in your freezer.  If you think that it is something really
rare, save any parts you can.  We have specimens represented only by a few
feathers, as well as many skeletons.  When you get a chance drop it by the
museum (the "old" one at Dickinson Hall at Museum Road) from M-F, 9 am - 4
pm.   It is helpful to call ahead of time to make sure that it gets
directly to our freezer.

If you would like to see some final products of our  preparations, working
on identification problems, etc., our collections are open to visitors by
appointment.  Give a call or email me to set one up a time.

Andy Kratter

Dr. Andrew Kratter, Collections Manager- Ornithology
Florida Museum of Natural History
PO Box 117800
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611 USA
Ph. (352) 392-3293
Fax (352) 846-0287