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Ornithology is the science of birds. Birds differ from other living vertebrates in three ways: feathers, hollow bones, and hard-shelled eggs. Birds are found all over the world and about 10,000 species are known. Ornithological research spans many fields, including taxonomy, evolution, anatomy, ecology, conservation biology, and wildlife management. The Avian Department serves the research community through our scientists' research and management of bird collections.

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