Ornithology is the study of birds. Birds are distinguished from other living vertebrates by three things: feathers, hollow bones, and hard shelled eggs. Birds are found worldwide, and roughy 10,000 species are known to exist. Ornithological research emcompasses many branches, including taxonomy, evolution, anatomy, ecology, conservation biology and wildlife management. The Division of Birds serves the research community through the research of our scientists and stewardship of the bird collections.