Saturday, November 21, 2015

A visit to the bird collection at the American Museum of Natural History

Yesterday, I went into NYC to see the collection as the American Museum of Natural History. I didn't go through much of the collection. I decided to sit and work for all but the last 30 minutes of my stay. 

Hard to believe, but despite the view of Central Park and being in the presence of the greatest collection of birds in the world, I reviewed a manuscript that I'm on. What was I thinking????  I've learned that I need to take advantage of those moments when I can concentrate. So it goes. 

Before, I was left to work, one of the bird curators showed my chair, his wife, and the dean's receptionist the type and extinction room. This is the second time I've been around Ivory-billed Woodpeckers and it was just as exciting. Below is a pair of Ivory-bills. The male was from Madison Parish, Louisiana, which is along the Mississippi River near Vicksburg, MS.

The other bird I wanted to see was Topaza pela, the Crimson Topaz, of the Amazon Basin. The males of this species hover over ponds and show off their brilliantly green gorgets and crimson bellies. I saw one of these leks near a pond near a camp called Dimona, north of Manaus. 

After the museum, I met back up with colleagues and visited the 9-11 Memorial. Beautiful but the horror still resonates within my brain. They planted swamp white oaks near the site and we picked up a few. 

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