These specimens are used entirely for teaching, allowing zoology students to see up close the structure of the bill of different water birds. The great strength of natural history collections – including our wonderful UNE Natural History Museum – is that they allow people to see animals up close in a way that is almost impossible in nature. Museums play a really important role in society, sort of like art galleries for the natural world. This photo (along with all the others in this ‘Lockdown’ series) was taken by a Year 9 Armidale Secondary College Photography student.
Wondering what the birds are? Having consulted expert UNE ornithologist Steve Debus, I can report the following (from left to right) Front Row: (1) Great Cormorant (immature, not full plumage), (2) Little Black Cormorant, (3) Great Cormorant, (4) Little Pied Cormorant (face obscured), (5) yet another Great Cormorant (in full adult plumage). And in the back – Straw-necked ibis.