Mr Hein Van Grouw
Senior Curator, Birds
Division: LS Vertebrates Division
Since June 2009 I’m one of the five NHM’s Bird Curators based at Tring. Before that I worked for nearly 12 years in the bird collections, and later also the mammal collections of Naturalis, the Dutch Natural History Museum, nowadays called Naturalis Dutch Centre for Biodiversity. Some of the larger projects I was involved in were:
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).
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 -2009: Whale strandings coordinator. Managed 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 www.walvisstrandingen.nl
I am practicing taxidermy since 1981 and experienced in the preparation of study skins, mounted specimen, skeleton preparation and specimen repair, both birds and mammals.
My ongoing research is into the occurrence of colour aberration in wild birds. Since 1998 I am undertaking a systematic search of scientific bird collections to identify and database all aberrant specimens with identifying the range of aberrations occurring in the various taxa as a goal. Within that research I am also interested in examples of (extinct) populations in which certain heritable colour aberrations are settled in well, e.g. the 'White-speckled Ravens' from the Faroe Islands. (See also Publications).
My interest in colour aberrations I have in common with Lord Lionel Walter, Second Baron Rothschild (1868-1937). He is famous for his passionate interest in ornithology and for having assembled a scientific collection of about 300,000 bird skins and mounts. Less well known was his interest in bird hybrids and colour aberrations for all of which he collected an impressive number of examples. However, how many is unknown as Rothschild’s collection was not catalogued. Also, his collection is divided between the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Natural History Museum. Currently I am doing an inventory to estimate the number of aberrant birds present in his collection and to look into their history.
- Ingenieur (= BSc), Rijkshogeschool IJsselland, Deventer, 1989 - 1995
- Senior Curator Bird group at Tring, Natural History Museum, London, Life Sciences, United Kingdom, 2015 - ongoing
- Curator Bird Group at Tring, Natural History Museum, London, Life Sciences, United Kingdom, 2009 - 2015
- Senior Collection Manager (Curator): Birds and Mammals, National Museum of Natural History Naturalis, Leiden, Zoology, The Netherlands, 2008 - 2009
- Collection Manager (Curator): Birds and Mammals, National Museum of Natural History Naturalis, Leiden, Zoology, The Netherlands, 2005 - 2008
- Collections technician/taxidermist: Birds, National Museum of Natural History Naturalis, Leiden, Zoology, The Netherlands, 2000 - 2005
- Collections technician/taxidermist: Birds, Reptiles & Amphibians, National Museum of Natural History Naturalis, Leiden, Zoology, The Netherlands, 1997 - 2000
Van Grouw H, Tolkmit D, Becker D, Weihe F (2021) Unusual phaeomelanised plumage: a review of similar cases in different species. British birds; an illustrated magazine devoted to the birds on the British list, 114 (10) : 633 - 637.
van Grouw H (2021) What's in a name? Nomenclature for colour aberrations in birds reviewed. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 141 (3) : doi: 10.25226/bboc.v141i3.2021.a5
Van Grouw H (2021, 1 8) Letter to the Editors: Comments on aberrant colouration articles in Ontario Birds. Ontario Birds. 39 (2) : : 62 - 65.
Van Grouw H (2021) Kleurenkennis. Roots Vogelmagazine, 72 - 79.
Van Grouw H (2021) Kleurafwijkingen bij vogels. Natura, 110 (1) : 20 - 21.
Van Grouw H, Leader PJ, Zyskowski K, Bird B, Khot R, Praveen J (2020) Status of ‘Fork-tailed Swift’ Apus pacificus complex in India. Indian Birds, 16 (5) : 135 - 139.
Wu MY, Low GW, Forcina G, Grouw H, Lee BPY, Oh RRY, Rheindt FE (2020) Historic and modern genomes unveil a domestic introgression gradient in a wild red junglefowl population. Evolutionary Applications, 13 (9) : 2300 - 2315. doi: 10.1111/eva.13023
van Grouw H, Dekkers W (2020) Temminck's Gallus giganteus; a gigantic obstacle to Darwin's theory of domesticated fowl origin?. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 140 (3) : doi: 10.25226/bboc.v140i3.2020.a5
Van Grouw H, Prys-Jones R, Schofield P (2020) A review of records of Downey Woodpecker in Britain. British birds; an illustrated magazine devoted to the birds on the British list, 113 : 211 - 216.
Pacheco G, van Grouw H, Shapiro MD, Gilbert MTP, Vieira FG (2020) Darwin’s Fancy Revised: An Updated Understanding of the Genomic Constitution of Pigeon Breeds. Genome Biology and Evolution, 12 (3) : 136 - 150. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evaa027
Diek HV, Grouw HV (2020) Zwarte merels, witte merels albinisme en andere kleurafwijkingen bij vogels. Noordboek :
van Grouw H, Dekkers W (2019) Various Gallus varius hybrids: variation in junglefowl hybrids and Darwin's interest in them. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 139 (4) : 355 - 355. doi: 10.25226/bboc.v139i4.2019.a9
Van Grouw H, Fadeev I, Mironova V (2019) Theodor LORENZ, the founder of scientific taxidermy in Moscow. His life, work and specimens. International Meeting of European Bird Curators, 1710 10 - 17 10 10Alauda 87 (3) : 61 - 72.
Van Grouw H (2019) Ornithological Masterclass 11, Plumage structure and colour. 16 - 19.
Van Grouw H, Besson L, Mellier B (2019) The melanistic variety of Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa continued. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club, 139 (1) : 4 - 4.
Van Grouw H, Besson L, Mellier B (2018) A black page in the French partridge's history: the melanistic variety of Red-legged Partridge Alectors rufa. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club, 138 (4) : 360 - 376.
Van Grouw H (2018) White feathers, the science behind abnormal plumage. 16 - 17.
Lotzof K, Van Grouw H, West S (2018, 23 10) Bye-bye dark sky: is light pollution costing us more than just the night-time?.
Van Grouw H (2018) White feathers in black birds. British Birds, 111 : 250 - 263.
Grouw HV (2018) Streptopelia risoriaand how Linnaeus had the last laugh. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club, 138 (1) : 11 - 29. doi: 10.25226/bboc.v138i1.2018.a3
Grouw HV, Dekkers W, Rookmaaker K (2017) On Temminck's tailless Ceylon Junglefowl, and how Darwin denied their existence. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club, 137 (4) : 261 - 271. doi: 10.25226/bboc.v137i4.2017.a3
Carlos CJ, Daudt NW, Grouw HV, Neves T (2017) The second and third documented records of Antarctic Tern Sterna vittata in Brazil. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club, 137 (4) : 320 - 324. doi: 10.25226/bboc.v137i4.2017.a11
Grouw HV (2017) The dark side of birds: melanism—facts and fiction. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club, 137 (1) : 12 - 36. doi: 10.25226/bboc.v137i1.2017.a9
Van Grouw H, Hume JP (2016) The history and morphology of Lord Howe Gallinule or Swamphen Porphyrio albus (Rallidae). Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club, 136 (3) : 172 - 198.
Van Grouw H, Mahabal A, Sharma RM, Thakur S (2016) How common is albinism really? Colour aberrations in Indian birds reviewed. Dutch Birding, 38 (5) : 301 - 309.
Van Grouw H, Horton P, Johnstone JE (2016) Clarifying collection details of specimens from Champion Bay, Western Australia, held in the Natural History Museum, Tring. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club, 136 (2) : 129 - 138.
Carlos CJ, Voisin J-F, Grouw HV, Moreno IB (null) A neotype designation for the Ascension Frigatebird Fregata aquila (Aves: Fregatidae). Zoologia (Curitiba), 33 (6) : doi: 10.1590/s1984-4689zool-20160111
Flood RL, van Grouw H (2015) Unfamiliar plumage types of Fulmars in the North Atlantic. British Birds, 108 : 331 - 348.
Islam MZ, Bourg A, van Grouw H (2015) A white Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis macqueenii (Jacquin, 1784) in Saudi Arabia. Sandgrouse, 37 : 90 - 93.
Lehmhus J, Dies JI, van Grouw H (2015) Presumed hybrid Eurasian Teal x Garganey in Valencia, Spain, in January–February 2014. Dutch Birding, 37 : 164 - 170.
Van Grouw H, Bloch D (2015) History of the extant museum specimens of the Faroese white-speckled raven. Archives of Natural History, 42 (1) : 23 - 38. doi: 10.3366/anh.2015.0276
Forcina G, Guerrini M, van Grouw H, Gupta BK, Panayides P, Hadjigerou P, Al-Sheikhly OF, Awan MN, Khan AA, Zeder MA, Barbanera F (2015) Impacts of biological globalization in the Mediterranean: Unveiling the deep history of human-mediated gamebird dispersal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112 (11) : 3296 - 3301. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1500677112
Van Grouw H (2015) Off colour (The Last Word).. New Scientist, 225 (3009) :
Barbanera F, Forcina G, Cappello A, Guerrini M, van Grouw H, Aebischer NJ (2015) Introductions over introductions: the genomic adulteration of an early genetically valuable alien species in the United Kingdom. Biological Invasions, 17 (1) : 409 - 422. doi: 10.1007/s10530-014-0739-5
Van Grouw H (2014) The Budgerigar now and in the past: a brief overview of some historical specimens in the Natural History Museum.. 20 - 22.
Heupink TH, van Grouw H, Lambert DM (2014) The mysterious Spotted Green Pigeon and its relation to the Dodo and its kindred. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 14 (1) : 136 - 136. doi: 10.1186/1471-2148-14-136
Hume JP, Van Grouw H (2014) Colour aberrations in extinct and endangered birds.. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 134 (3) : 168 - 193.
Van Grouw H (2014) Het zijn de feiten die tellen, niet de voorkeuren.. 128 (11) : 7 - 9.
Van Grouw H (2014) Chocolade is Bruin.. 128 (10) : 32 - 34.
Van Grouw H (2014) The Spotted green pigeon Caloenas maculata: as dead as a Dodo, but what else do we know about it?. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club, 134 (4) : 291 - 301.
Van Grouw H (2014) Some black-and-white facts about the Faeroese whitespeckled Common Raven Corvus corax varius.. Bulletin of the British Ornithologist´s Club, 134 (1) : 4 - 13.
Van Grouw H (2013) What colour is that bird? The causes and recognition of common colour aberrations in birds. British Birds, 106 (1) : 17 - 29.
van Grouw H (2012) WHAT COLOUR IS THAT SPARROW? A CASE STUDY: COLOUR ABERRATIONS IN THE HOUSE SPARROW PASSER DOMESTICUS. International Studies on Sparrows, 36 : 30 - 55.
Van Grouw H (2012) Plumage aberrations in Australian birds: A comment on Guay et al. (2012) and Frith & Murphy (2012). Australian Field Ornithology, 29 (4) : 210 - 214.
Van Grouw H (2012) Geen kraai zo bont of er zit wel een vlekje aan; het fenomeen ‘witte veren’ in kraaiachtigen. Het Vogeljaar, 60 (1) : 3 - 20.
Van Grouw H, Nolazco S (2012) The nature of melanism and some other colour aberrations in the Vermilion flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus obscurus). Boletin Informativo UNOP, 7 : 26 - 37.
GROUW H. J. van. (2011) Lappet-faced Vultures with white feathers. Vulture News, 60 : 13 - 14.
Helm SR, Stemmer R, van Grouw H (2011) Unusual Coloration of a Hairy Woodpecker from Oregon. Northwestern Naturalist, 92 (1) : 76 - 78. doi: 10.1898/10-19.1
Van Grouw H, Russell S, Merne OJ (2011) A few notes on colour aberrations in Common Guillemot Uria aalge and Northern Gannet Morus bassanus. Seabird, 24 : 66 - 74.
Van Grouw H (2010) How to recognise colour aberrations in birds (in museum collections). Journal of Afrotropical Zoology, 53 - 59.
van GROUW H, de Jong J (2009) Genetica bij duiven: Modern Mendelisme en meer voor de duivenliefhebber. Surhuisterveen. Nederlandse Bond van Sierduivenliefhebbersverenigingen NBS. ISBN 978-90-813589-1-0 :
Van Grouw H (2006) Not every white bird is an albino: sense and nonsense about colour aberrations in birds.. Dutch Birding, 28 (2) : 79 - 89.
Senfeld T, Shannon TJ, Grouw H, Paijmans DM, Tavares ES, Baker AJ, Lees AC, Collinson JM (2020) Taxonomic status of the extinct Canary Islands Oystercatcher Haematopus meadewaldoi. Ibis, 162 (3) : 1068 - 1074. doi: 10.1111/ibi.12778