The Museum collection of mounted birds constitutes the largest and most important of its kind in the country.
The Benedito brothers, who worked as taxidermists for the museum in the early 20th century, performed the remarkable mounting – Luís mounted the mammals and José María the birds.
Notable examples of their work are the bird dioramas, such as the European Bee-eater that illustrates this section.
Over 40% of the specimens of this collection are native Spanish breeds; there are also representatives of the fauna of former Spanish areas of influence - Latin America, North Africa, the Philippines and Equatorial Guinea.
At present, the collection manages 30,000 species preserved in different ways:
- Skins: mounted and study skins
- Skeletons (mainly disarticulated); eggs and nests
- Full-body specimens preserved in fluids (70% ethyl alcohol)
87.4% of the specimens are digitised.
The collection comprises all orders of the class Birds, including 162 families, 1,223 genera and 2,660 species.
There are 12,400 native specimens in the collection, with representatives of 75 families and 380 species. There are specimens from all the Autonomous Communities of Spain.
Josefina Barreiro Rodríguez.
Luis Castelo Vicente.