Back in August, we visited the Natuur Museum Brabant in Tilburg, the Netherlands. I was really impressed by the bird collection and other displays in this small provincial natural history museum.
A large part of the permanent exhibit features common Dutch wildlife, especially that found in Brabant. This includes an impressive number of birds – and rather small numbers of everything else, really. Notice the pet dog (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?) and domestic sheep bolstering the mammal numbers.
In another room, there was an interesting display depicting several species that were extirpated from the Netherlands, and recent reintroduction efforts. For example, the last breeding pair of Ravens was found in south Limburg in 1944; 200 Ravens were re-introduced in the natural area Veluwe over a period of 20+ years.
A temporary exhibit on reproduction and sexuality was pretty interesting, with a couple of bird-related tidbits that stood out.
First, it was neat to see a side-by-side comparison of male vs. female size in a couple of raptor species. In birds of prey, the female bird is almost always larger than the male.
Next, it was kind of fun to show this duck display to my cousin- and mother-in-law. And I thought crazy duck genitalia was common knowledge! 🙂
The caption below reads in part: Record penis: Most birds have no penis. But if they do have one, boy do they steal the show. This Argentinian Stiff-tailed Duck has a penis nearly a half meter long.