I had occasion to visit the American Museum of Natural History in NYC today. I almost never go to the city, certainly not without kicking and screaming about it, but I've always wanted to see the museum so happily took the opportunity today.
The place was packed solid with visitors, it being a holiday weekend, so with limited time and limited patience for crowds I focused my wanderings in the birdy parts of the museum. I don't have any other natural history museum experience to compare it with, but my overall impression was sort of lackluster. There are several halls dedicated to birds, be it local to NYC, North American Birds (which holds 99% of all known species), or Birds of the World. The exhibits were very dark and the bird specimens in poor condition and really very creepy-looking! I don't think this hall of dead birds will be winning us any converts to birdwatching anytime soon. Yuck.
Equally icky was the hall of dead rodents and rabbits; it was vaguely interesting to be able to make size comparisons among the different species of hares and rabbits, but still... yuck!
What did impress me were the habitat dioramas; these also included mounted specimens, but they were presented in somewhat more life-like scenes. Each was backed by beautiful and colorful paintings and included model plants and flowers to mimic the natural habitat of each species. I'll share just a few pics of my favorites... and do click on these!