Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

6,000 Bird Species Captured On Film, Added To Image Bank

Date:
April 9, 1999
Source:
Academy Of Natural Sciences Of Philadelphia
Summary:
The world has nearly 10,000 known species of birds. The 6,000th has just come to roost at The Academy of Natural Sciences--in the form of a photograph.

PHILADELPHIA-- The world has nearly 10,000 known species of birds. The 6,000th has just come to roost at The Academy of Natural Sciences--in the form of a photograph.

The Academy houses the world's most comprehensive collection of bird photographs in a collection called VIREO (Visual Resources for Ornithology). This outstanding collection now contains over 95,000 bird images taken by some of the best wildlife photographers in the world. The images depict every aspect of bird life, including courting, mating, migrating and tending young. The collection is a vital resource for scientists and also for commercial users.

The photograph that notched the VIREO collection up to the 6,000th mark was that of a Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler taken at Nylsvley, a nature reserve in the northern part of South Africa. Nature photographer Warwick Tarboton of South Africa lives on a farm alongside the nature reserve and he lured the bird close in his garden with suet. The bird lives in a restricted range in the semi-arid area of southern Africa.

Since it was established in 1979, VIREO has had the goal of gathering images of all the Earth's birds. That goal is now over 60% complete. The collection is used by scientists to study physical characteristics, such as feather and eye color, that are not preserved over time in the actual bird skins housed in museum specimen collections like the Academy's. Scientists also can gain valuable data from behavior caught on film.

"This is a true milestone," said VIREO Director, Doug Wechsler. "Scientists all over the world can use the VIREO collection to study a group of bird species or geographical variation with one species."

VIREO images are also available to a wide variety of commercial users around the world; thousands are purchased or licensed annually for use in lectures, publications, and electronic products. The centralized repository of images also contains the original film, which VIREO preserves in its state-of-the-art facility. More than 500 photographers have contributed to the collection including Academy ornithologists. Many photographers have gone to great lengths and risked physical dangers to capture a moment of a bird's life.

Wechsler has led or accompanied expeditions to remote and exotic locales including the Philippines, South America, Cuba and Cameroon. One of his most recent adventures was in fall 1997 to Borneo, where he was the photographer for a team of Malaysian and Indonesian researchers. At the time, vast stretches of forest were burning out of control due to a lack of rain and land clearing for huge palm plantations. "The air was full of smoke," said Wechsler. "When we reached the border, the whole town greeted us with the traditional welcoming ceremony of the indigenous people. It was a truly thrilling experience."

To acquire photographs of the remaining 3,500 species, VIREO will continue its globe trotting to some of the most remote corners of the Earth.

For information on purchasing a VIREO photograph, call Doug Wechsler at 215/299-1069. VIREO also offers group tours of its collection. For information on group tours, please call 215 299-1012.

# # #

The mission of The Academy of Natural Sciences is to expand knowledge of nature through discovery and to inspire stewardship of the environment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Academy Of Natural Sciences Of Philadelphia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Academy Of Natural Sciences Of Philadelphia. "6,000 Bird Species Captured On Film, Added To Image Bank." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990409071511.htm>.
Academy Of Natural Sciences Of Philadelphia. (1999, April 9). 6,000 Bird Species Captured On Film, Added To Image Bank. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990409071511.htm
Academy Of Natural Sciences Of Philadelphia. "6,000 Bird Species Captured On Film, Added To Image Bank." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/04/990409071511.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins