|On September 12, 2008, the renowned collection of birds, eggs and nests at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History are back on display in its new home – the Dennis M. Power Bird Hall. Visitors will see more than 300 different types of birds (many of them longtime favorites) now refreshed and displayed in their terrestrial and aquatic habitats, and uniquely arranged by foraging guilds. There will be opportunities to learn about bird evolution, foraging patterns, communication, defensive tactics, biodiversity, and conservation. Ultimately, after visiting the new Bird Hall, visitors will marvel at the endless variety and fascinating beauty of birds.
The Museum’s former Bird Diversity Hall had been a pilgrimage for birders and a place for all to learn. In 2005, the Museum’s curators and exhibit designers undertook the redesign and relocation of this venerable hall, and now the Museum presents the new Dennis M. Power Bird Hall.
The new Bird Hall features nearly 500 bird mounts – both old favorites and new specimens – that are arranged by ecological foraging guilds. This innovative arrangement allows visitors to learn how birds co-exist and thrive in the many habitats found in Santa Barbara. The new hall has information about avian evolution, flight dynamics, and reproductive strategies, as well as the Museum’s treasured bird habitat dioramas. Painted by the late local plein air artist Ray Strong, the dioramas portray various local birds in their natural settings in the Central Coast.
The Museum is excited about the educational energy, visual drama, and sheer elegance with which the new Dennis M. Power Bird Hall will introduce new generations of Santa Barbarans and visitors from around the globe to some of the most fascinating creatures with whom we share the natural world.