References and resources



Looking for a specific specimen?

The Bird collection is being digitised

Access references, useful links and databases relating to the Museum bird collections.

Bird collection type specimen database

Search or browse bird type specimens and access catalogue data on holotypes, syntypes, lectotypes and neotypes.

All members of a syntype series have equal status, but only one member of each is listed, regardless of how many are in the collections.

The catalogue includes additions and corrections noted prior to June 2001. Additional entries will not be shown when browsing the catalogue, but will appear in appropriate searches.

Species that lack the characteristic Passerine trait of three forward-facing toes and one back. Compiled by Rachel L. M. Warren, Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History), London: 1966.

Species with three toes facing forwards and one back. Compiled by Rachel L. M. Warren and C.J.O. Harrison, Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History), London: 1971.

Various bird eggs from western Asia

Various common Indian birds eggs from the Hume Collection.

Useful references

Find what you're looking for with our comprehensive lists of ornithological references, and choose from a range of related websites.

Key Natural History Museum publications online

General ornithological references

  • BirdLife International, 2000, Threatened Birds of the World, Lynx Edicions & BirdLife International.
  • M. Brooke & T. Birkhead (editors), 1991, The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Birds.Cambridge University Press.
  • B. Campbell & E. Lack, 1985, Dictionary of Birds. T & A D Poyser.
  • J. Forshaw (editor), 1998. Encyclopedia of Birds (Second Ed.). Academic Press.
  • B.P. Martin, 1987. World Birds. Guinness Books. (Information on bird record-holders).
  • C. Wernham et al. (editors), 2002. The Migration Atlas – Movements of the Birds of Britain and Ireland. T & A D Poyser.

Other useful references

Access topic-specific bibliographies, online bird dictionaries and ornithology history texts here: 

Bird collection references PDF (49 KB)


Type specimen catalogue

Search or browse bird type specimens and access catalogue data on holotypes, syntypes, lectotypes and neotypes.


Explore the electronic Bulletin board for European avian curators, an online community of European bird curators and associates.

Bird ring recovery

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) coordinates the ringing and reporting of wild birds in Britain and Ireland. 

Important research on the survival and movements of these birds is supported by reports received from members of the public.

Found a ringed bird ?

If you have found a ringed bird please report it by contacting the National Ringing Scheme

The Ringing Unit
The Nunnery
Norfolk, UK
IP24 2PU

Tel: +44 (0)1842 750050
Fax: +44 (0)1842 750030