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Rothschild's myna wanted for Rothschild's museum

Rothschild-Mynah-The-National-Trust-WaddesdonTHE NATURAL HISTORY Museum in Tring is looking to Cage & Aviary Birds readers for a Rothschild’s myna (Leucopsar rothschildi) specimen to include in a display dedicated to the life and work of Walter Rothschild.

The Hertfordshire zoological museum was founded by Walter Rothschild in 1889 to house his outstanding zoological collections, and is now part of the Natural History Museum (NHM).

Alice Adams, who manages the exhibition programme, is seeking a specimen of a Rothschild’s myna (also known as Bali starling) to feature in a permanent display of taxidermy specimens. The current specimen’s two-year loan is coming to an end, so she would like to hear from any breeders of this species who could provide a deceased specimen now or in the future.

The museum would arrange and cover any costs of transport and taxidermy preparation, and is happy to acknowledge the donor in the display.

Ms Adams said: “It is extremely rare for us to add a specimen to the galleries, but we felt the myna was very important to include. Any new specimen must of course be ethically sourced. Neither the public museum nor the NHM bird research collection has a Rothschild’s myna and it proved impossible in advance of opening the new gallery to source a specimen for permanent display.

“Fortunately, we were kindly lent a taxidermy specimen by a private individual. The two-year loan period is coming to an end and I am very keen to replace the specimen – it really completes the display.”

The permanent gallery opened in April 2015 and gives visitors a chance to find out more about the founder of the museum, his work and the museum’s history.

“Visitors discover the scientists/ curators who worked there and some of the specimen collectors who travelled the world,” said Ms Adams.

“You can see highlights from Walter’s historic library, and the story of how the NHM’s world-class bird research collections came to be housed at the site.”

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