The Ornithological (Bird) Collection at the Natural History Museum dates back to the turn of the century and specimens obtained in those early days are still in existence. The Ornithological collection is one of the most comprehensive study collections in the world. With specimens collected in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Angola as well as South and East Africa.
Specimens have been added to the Ornithological Collection over the years and there are now an estimated 110 000 study skins, 2000 skeletons, 8000 clutches of eggs and 150 nests in the collection. The department also houses close to 42 000 breeding records for the birds of Zimbabwe. A comprehensive bibliographic index to the birds of Africa is maintained in the department and this supplements the wide selection of regional and international ornithological and other scientific journals available in the Museum Library. As a result this has become one of the most important reference collections with representative samples of most of the bird species of Zimbabwe and Africa south of the Sahara. Various research projects have been carried out on the collection or parts of it by local and international researchers. Current research focuses on the theme “Birds and man” and includes work on alien bird species introduced by man and the effects of various cultural beliefs and practices on bird conservation.