NHMO Bird collection

Latest version published by University of Oslo on 05 December 2022 University of Oslo
Publication date:
05 December 2022
Published by:
University of Oslo
CC-BY 4.0

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 136,760 records in English (22 MB) - Update frequency: weekly
Metadata as an EML file download in English (12 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (9 KB)


The NHMO Avian collection at the Natural History Museum in Oslo, Norway is maintained and curated as four separate sub-collections, viz. the Preserved specimen, Eggshell, Sperm and DNA bank collections. In the collections database the sub-collections are, however, integrated and a single accession can contain items from one or more of the sub-collections. The Preserved specimen and Eggshell collections are traditional collections, dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, respectively, while the DNA bank and Sperm collections were initiated only in towards the end of the 19th century (the DNA bank also contains some older material subsampled from e.g. the Preserved specimen collection).

Most of the older parts of the collections have been collected during several scientific expeditions. In recent years, the main growth of the collection has come from the many blood and sperm samples collected as part of research projects in the Sex and Evolution Research Group (SERG) at the museum.

The collection is databased in Corema, a software that has been developed in close cooperation between the NHMO and the developer, Digital Forvaltning AS (https://www.coremadb.com/). An accession generally refers to a given individual at a specific place and time; for each accession, one or more items may exist. Examples of item types include preserved skins, feathers or eggshells, blood, tissue or sperm samples, footage of live sperm motility, microscope slides prepared for sperm morphometric analyses, testes and extracted DNA.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 136,760 records.

7 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Occurrence (core)

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Lifjeld J T, Johnsen A, Johannessen L E, Bjerke B A (2022): NHMO Bird collection. v1.184. University of Oslo. Dataset/Occurrence. https://ipt.gbif.no/resource?r=birds&v=1.184


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is University of Oslo. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 264e6a66-9c9e-4115-9aec-29d694c68097.  University of Oslo publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by GBIF Norway.


Occurrence; Specimen; Occurrence


Bjørn Aksel Bjerke
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Natural History Museum, University of Oslo
Natural History Museum, P.O. Box 1172 Blindern
NO-0318 Oslo
Arild Johnsen
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Natural History Museum, University of Oslo
Natural History Museum, P.O. Box 1172 Blindern
NO-0318 Oslo
Jan T. Lifjeld
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Natural History Museum, University of Oslo
Natural History Museum, P.O. Box 1172 Blindern
NO-0318 Oslo
Rukaya Johaadien
Lars Erik Johannessen
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Collection manager
Natural History Museum, University of Oslo
Natural History Museum, P.O. Box 1172 Blindern
NO-0318 Oslo

Geographic Coverage

The collection has a global coverage and includes samples from all continents. This is also true for the Skin and DNA bank sub-collections, while the Eggshell subcollection has no records from Oceania and South America, and the Sperm subcollection has no records from Antarctica. The number of countries covered varies from 25 (Sperm) to 115 (Skin), but there are also many records for which country is unknown, especially in the Skin (n=1952) and Eggshell (n=330). Although the main focus is on Norway, several of the sub-collections contain substantial collections from other regions. For the DNA bank and sperm collection these include especially northeastern Canada, Macaronesia, Cameroon/Nigeria and Australia; for the Skin collection Indonesia, Australia and India

Bounding Coordinates South West [-90, -180], North East [90, 180]

Taxonomic Coverage

The scope of the collection covers all avian taxa (Class Aves), and currently (February 2020) the collection contains samples from 40 orders, 219 families, 4080 species and 5040 taxa (i.e. including subspecies). The taxonomy follows the IOC World Bird List, version 4.1.

Class Aves

Temporal Coverage

Formation Period 1815-current

Additional Metadata

Additional data exist for several of the accession and items type in the dataset. For recent accessions (last few decades) biometric information (body mass, tarsus length, wing length) may exist; for sperm samples morhpometry and motility data may exist.

Alternative Identifiers 264e6a66-9c9e-4115-9aec-29d694c68097