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Re: Saving Dead Birds

Thanks, Bill Hilton, for your comments about saving specimens for research. 
Those of us who are working to maintain the bird collections for the most 
part depend on donations of salvaged specimens. We are reluctant to collect 
birds, and only do so when a special study requires material, and only when 
authorized by the federal and state authorities. Any salvaged material is 
valuable, even if the skin is damaged. We have a scarcity, nationwide, of 
skeletal and liquid-preserved specimens. If anyone finds a dead bird, he/she 
should put it in a zip-loc freezer bag, along with the locality, date and 
collector's name. It is best not to wrap it in toweling, as this accelerates 
desiccation. It is actually better to put an ice cube in the bag with the 
bird, when you put it in the freezer. It is also preferable to use a standard 
freezer, rather than a frost-free type, as latter also dries out specimens. 
Anyone in SC who has an interesting specimen that they wish to donate can 
e-mail me (grackler@aol.com). I am sure that John Gerwin at the NC State 
Museum would also appreciate being notified of unusual bird specimens, but 
his criteria may be different from mine. Thank for your help. Will Post, 
Charleston Museum