Sometimes when you’re looking for something else in the museum, you’ll come across something a little weird, like a drawer full of bird wings.
These actually would have come in handy the other day when our curator Dave headed over to the anthropological museum collections across campus to assist them in identifying some fur and feathers that had been used to decorate various headdresses and costumes. It can be difficult to see the variability in feather colors from birds preserved as study skins, because as you can see here many of them have incandescent secondary feathers, which would typically be folded in on a study skin. The Burke Museum at the University of Washington has an extensive ornithological collection, including a huge number of these types of preserved wings. Pretty neat!