Mr Hein Van Grouw

Hein and Corvus leuomelas
  • Curator, Birds
  • Life Sciences department
  • Vertebrates Division
Natural History Museum at Tring
Akeman Street
HP23 6AP


Employment history

Aug.1997 - May 2009: National Museum of Natural History Naturalis, Leiden.

Aug. 1997:    Collections technician/taxidermist: Birds, Reptiles & Amphibians.

April 2000:    Collections technician/taxidermist: Birds

Sept. 2005:    Collection Manager (Curator): Birds and Mammals

 Feb. 2008:    Senior Collection Manager (Curator): Birds and Mammals.

Special tasks, experiences and projects

1998 - 1999:    Supervised move of entire bird collections to new premises. Personally responsible for the packaging, removal and systematic installation of the entire collection of bird skins and mounted specimens to new premises. Managed a team of seven to assist me in the physical work. (2 years).

1999:               Secondment to Seychelles Natural History Museum, Mahé, (in association with Birdlife International), to prepare study skins and mounted specimens of birds and instruct museum staff in specimen preparation. (3 weeks).

1999:               Bird collecting expedition to Vietnam. Responsible for field preparation of bird skin specimens collected using mist nets in high altitude tropical forest.(7 weeks).

2005 - 2006:    Project manager: digital registration of Passeriformes collection. Supervised a team of project workers to develop and populate a database, including digital images, of entire Passeriformes skin collection, (approx. 75,000 specimens). Wrote a collections manual to establish a protocol for future projects. (2 years).

2005 -:             Research into the history of the bird (and mammal) collections. Conducting a comprehensive search of original archival material for historical information relating to the Leiden collections. Information will be also used for the Naturalis website.

2005 -:             Whale strandings co-ordinator; manage team responsible for the retrieval, data collection and preparation of all Cetacean specimens along the Dutch coast. Principal liaison contact with media regarding Cetacean strandings. Responsible for the availability of all strandings data online; see

2007 -:             Type specimens on the Web. Part of government project to make important collections data available online. Personally responsible for compilation and scientific accuracy of all information relating to bird and mammal type specimens.


Ingenieur (= BSc) Environmental Science and Education


Research into the occurrence of colour aberration in European birds. Undertaking a systematic search of European bird collections to identify and database all aberrant specimens; identifying the range of aberrations occurring in the various taxa. (See also Publications). 


Research into the history of the 'Black and White Ravens' from the Faroe Islands. Including a search for the remaining specimens of this colour variety in Museum collections and elsewhere.


Specialist interest in domestication and genetics in birds and mammals, particularly in pigeons and poultry. (See Publications)


Interest in collections history, particularly Europe and South East Asia.


Practising taxidermist since 1981. Experienced in the preparation of study skins, mounted specimen, skeleton preparation and specimen repair. Birds and mammals.


  • Grouw, H.J. van ( 2009 ) Genetica bij Duiven, modern mendelisme voor de duivenliefhebber (Genetics in the Pigeon, modern medelism for the pigeon fancier) . Nederlandse Bond van Sierduivenliefhebbers verenigingen (NBS) 1-272 .
  • Grouw, H.J. van ( 2006 ) Not every White Bird is an Albino: sense and nonsense about colour aberrations in birds Dutch Birding 28 (2) : 79-89 .