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The Ornithological Collection

With over 5,000 individual specimens, the scope of which extend over four continents, the Ornithological collection at the Joseph Moore Museum has been a resource in avian research for decades. Many of the specimens have been used in genetic sampling and population surveys for both Earlham College students and researchers across the country. The collection maintains over 400 genera and 700 species from 43 countries; among them include several Passenger Pigeons, (Ectopistes migratorius), a Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja), an Ostrich (Struthio camelus) and a Whooping Crane (Grus americana). 

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Museum staff Julie Tamanini and Nick Pondelis won an ARC grant at twice the maximum award size to study “West Nile Virus in Joseph Moore Museum Avian Specimens 1999 to Present”. View their work here.

Museum staff and our director Dr. Heather Lerner recently extracted DNA from the Harpy Eagle “Luigi” from The Peregrine Fund's World Center for Birds of Prey. The Joseph Moore Museum is working with the University of Washington Genome Center to sequence Luigi’s genome.


Lerner, H. R. L., Johnson, J. A., Lindsay, A. R., Kiff, L. and Mindell, D. P. (2009) Mitochondrial genetic diversity and differentiation among Harpy eagles (Harpia harpyja).  [open access version]

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