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Explore and download the Museum’s research and collections data.

Mark My Bird

The Mark My Bird dataset comprises 3D scans of bird bills from the ornithology collection of the Natural History Museum, London. Mark My Bird is part of a European Research Council (ERC) funded project based at the University of Sheffield. The project aims to contribute to our understanding of how and why bird species form and diversify. 3D scans of bills were taken primarily from the ornithological skins collections. The scans were uploaded to the citizen science website where they were analysed by both researchers from the University of Sheffield and volunteer citizen scientists. Analysis involved landmarking pre-defined features of the bill on computer visualisations of the scans.

The dataset comprises records of 2028 specimens. Each specimen represents a different birds species and is typically a male. The dataset includes raw scan data in obj format, landmarks from 3-4 volunteers (and the average of those landmarks) for each specimen stored as txt files with three columns of XYZ coordinates. Mark My Bird usernames, documenting the contributing volunteer, are assigned to each landmark file. The dataset also includes a csv format file (MarkMyBird_manifest.csv) detaling taxonomy, museum accession number, and sex for each species.

Data and Resources

Cite this as

Gavin H Thomas; Jen A Bright; Chris R Cooney (2016). Mark My Bird [Data set]. Natural History Museum.
Retrieved: 19:31 09 Dec 2023 (UTC) BibTeX

Additional Info

Field Value
Affiliation University of Sheffield
Primary contributors
Thomas, Gavin H;
Bright, Jen A;
Cooney, Chris R
Other contributors
Temporal extent 1842 - Present
Last updated April 8, 2019
Last resource update April 8, 2019 (MarkMyBird_manifest.csv)
Created December 5, 2016
License CC-BY-4.0