Obscura Society LA: Introduction to the Moore Lab of Zoology - Atlas Obscura
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Obscura Society LA: Introduction to the Moore Lab of Zoology

Join Obscura Society LA as we discover that this is a birds' world, and we humans are just visiting

Get up close with the rarest of the rare, extinct, and magnificent bird specimens in this private introduction to the unique collection of the late, famed amateur ornithologist Robert T. Moore. 

Moore became a lover of birds at a very young age. He traveled across North and South America to study, observe, and document these amazing creatures, and is credited with discovering at least four new species and amassing one of the world's largest collections of birds, containing an incredible 60,000 different specimens.

In 1950, Moore decided to give his collection to Occidental College in Los Angeles. He constructed the building it was to be housed in, now known as the Moore Lab of Zoology, and gave an endowment ensuring the maintenance, upkeep, and further studying of his massive collection. In 1952, the Moore Lab of Zoology was dedicated. Moore passed away six years later knowing that his love of birds would carry on to the next generation. 

Today, the building still stands and the collection is still growing. Now at 64,121 specimens, it is among the world’s largest research natural history collections. Birds that have been extinct for years are preserved here, ensuring that amateur ornithologists, like Robert Moore, will be able to enjoy and study these birds for years to come. 

Join Obscura Society LA as we are given an exclusive tour of this famed collection by the present director of the collection, John McCormack. He will show us the Tufted Jay, Balsas Screech Owl, an American Bald Eagle, and the Imperial Woodpecker (the world's largest woodpecker). This tour is VERY hands-on, so if touching dead, stuffed birds is your thing, then this rare opportunity is not to be missed! 


  • Please arrive promptly at 1 pm and look for the Obscura Society LA sign at the front entrance of the Moore Lab. 
  • This event is family friendly, ages 12+, but it is rather small space, so keep that in mind.

Directions getting to the Moore Lab and parking below:

Follow the instructions on this web site to get to visitor parking for Occidental College: 


The visitor parking is number 43 on the campus map here: 

To get to the Moore Lab building, walk south to building 30 on the map. It is adjacent to the Biology building near a small picnic area called Sycamore Glen.