Obscura Society LA: The Moore Lab of Zoology - Atlas Obscura
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Los Angeles, California

Obscura Society LA: The Moore Lab of Zoology

Explore the unique collection of the late, famed ornithologist Robert T. Moore

The Tufted Jay, Balsas Screech Owl, an American Bald Eagle, and the Imperial Woodpecker (the world's largest woodpecker - now extinct), are just a few of the magnificent bird specimens we will encounter on this exclusive tour.

Moore became a lover of birds at a very young age. He and his principal collector Chester Lamb 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 the world's largest collections of Mexican 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 professional and amateur ornithologists, like Robert Moore, will be able to enjoy and study these birds for years to come.

For more information, visit the Moore Lab's Facebook page.

Notes for this adventure:

- There will be two tours:

  • 10 am - 11: 45 am (EARLY TOUR)
  • 12:00 pm - 1:45 pm (LATE TOUR)

- Please arrive promptly when your tour is slated to start (10 am or 12 pm) and look for the group standing in front of the building.  

- This event is family friendly, ages 12+, but it is a rather small space, so keep that in mind.

- Directions and parking instruction will be sent out prior to the tour date.

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