1. Zoologie Vogelsammlung

Natural History Museum Vienna

Wien | Website

Electronic database / Collection

Short Description

The Bird Collection at the NHM dates back to 1793 and represents the only scientific institution in Austria devoted to biodiversity, taxonomy and biogeography of birds. The scientific Bird Collection covers species from all over the world and is engaged in international research projects. We constitute probably the 2nd largest bird collection in Europe with >130.000 Objects.

The Skin Collection presently holds >90.000 specimens from all over the world. The Palaearctic, parts of Africa, Middle East, South East Asia, New Zealand and Brazil are covered best. The collection holds more than 1.000 type specimens, many extinct species, and historic unique records.

Roughly 10.000 mounted birds, many of them representing species extinct in the wild or from types, form the systematic core at the exhibition halls. About 25% are permanently on display in the public galleries.

The skin specimens are accompanied by 12.000 bird skeletons, about 4.500 feather mounts, 10.000 eggs, nests and tissues are stored and available for research projects.

Contact Person

PD Dr. Swen Renner

Research Services

• Ornithological reference collection for Austria and specific geographical areas worldwide
• Tissue samples and genetic material available for scientific studies and research
• Support for the determination of bird derivatives
• Ornithological library

Methods & Expertise for Research Infrastructure

The ornithology section of the NHM has currently two major research areas:

(1) Taxonomy, biogeography, speciation and species range distribution of birds, mainly in Europe and Southeast Asia

(2) Global change is accelerating rapidly and includes climate, land use, and land cover changes among others. Important forms of land use change for birds are habitat loss such as deforestation and habitat modifications such as intensification of land use. These modifications are responsible for changes in species numbers, abundance, diversity, functional diversity, local extinctions, range shifts, and alterations of species interactions and ecological processes such as parasitism or predation.

Allocation to Core Facility

1. Zoologische Abteilung, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien

PD Dr. Swen Renner
Zoo.I./Ornithologische Sammlung
+43 1 52177-499
The scientific collection may be accessed by interested persons upon appointment (email/telephone).
Päckert M et al. (2019) Pilot biodiversity assessment of the Hkakabo Razi passerine avifauna in northern Myanmar – implications for conservation from molecular genetics Bird Conservation International 30:267-288 doi:10.1017/s0959270919000273

Renner SC, Bates PJJ (2020) Historic changes in species composition for a globally unique bird community Scientific Reports 10:10739 doi:10.1038/s41598-020-67400-z

Renner SC et al. (2016a) Forests of opportunities and mischief: disentangling the interactions between forests, parasites and immune responses International Journal for Parasitology 46:571-579 doi:10.1016/j.ijpara.2016.04.008

Renner SC, Rappole JH, Milensky CM, Myint Aung, Nay Myo Shwe, Thein Aung (2015) Avifauna of the Southeastern Himalayan Mountains and neighboring Myanmar hill country Bonn Zoological Bulletin - Supplementum 62:1-75

Renner SC, Rappole JH, Myint Kyaw, Milensky CM, Päckert M (2017) Genetic confirmation of the species status of Jabouilleia naungmungensis Journal of Ornithology 159:63-71 doi:10.1007/s10336-017-1493-0

Renner SC et al. (2016b) Using multiple landscape genetic approaches to test the validity of genetic clusters in a species characterized by an isolation-by-distance pattern Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 118:292-303 doi:10.1111/bij.12737

van Hoesel W, Santiago Alarcon D, Marzal A, Renner SC (2020) Effects of forest structure on the interaction between avian hosts, dipteran vectors and haemosporidian parasites BMC Ecology 20:47 doi:10.1186/s12898-020-00315-5

Dvorak, M., Landmann, A., Teufelbauer, N., Wichmann, G., Berg, H.-M. & Probst, R. (2018): Erhaltungszustand und Gefährdungssituation der Brutvögel Österreichs: Rote Liste (5. Fassung) und Liste für den Vogelschutz prioritärer Arten (1. Fassung). – Egretta - Vogelkundliche Nachrichten aus Österreich, 55: 4-40.

Berg, H.-M. & Haring, E. (2016): Erster Nachweis der Steppenkragentrappe Chlamydotis macqueenii (J.E Gray, 1832) für Österreich. – Egretta - Vogelkundliche Nachrichten aus Österreich, 54: 150-154.