200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 163: “Taking to the Sky ”

« Exhibiting Our Treasures

The Legend of Dragon Palace »

many mounted bird specimens along a long table
Some of the mounted bird specimens slated for the exhibit at the Philadelphia International Airport.

Taking to the Sky

From early May through November, visitors to the Philadelphia International Airport will see more than 100 dramatically mounted birds from the Academy’s Exhibits Collection. Located between terminals C and D and accessible to ticketed passengers, this display will feature taxidermy birds of many sizes, shapes, and hues, collected between the 1830s and the present. These birds will provide a glimpse of the many fascinating things visitors can see at the museum.

“The exhibit is an opportunity to show travelers just a few of the beautiful bird specimens we have at the Academy,” says Interim Director of Exhibits Jennifer Sontchi, who is working with airport staff to make this exhibit a reality. “We believe visitors will be astonished at the breadth, beauty, and variety of the birds.”

To prepare for the exhibit, Academy employees combed through the Exhibits Collection, a behind-the-scenes hodge-podge of amazing specimens that have been separated from their identifying data. The exhibits team selected 100 plus birds from the collection and brought them to Ornithology Collection Manager Dr. Nate Rice for identification. Nate inspected the birds closely and noted their common and scientific names. With Jennifer’s guidance, airport employees will clean, arrange, and touch up the birds and prepare the exhibit for presentation.

Be sure to find the exhibit between terminals C and D before your next flight, and visit the Academy in June for “Birds of a Feather: Ornithology Month”! During Bird Discovery Weekend on June 9 and 10, meet scientists, view tables of specimens, catch presentations from bird experts, watch a bird-skinning demonstration, learn to identify local birds, participate in a bird banding activity, design your own binoculars, and more.

Plan your visit, check out our new exhibits, and find out about upcoming activities.
Discover the past and explore the future of the natural sciences in our online exhibits.
Make a difference, browse our programs, and get involved with the natural world.