The ornithological collections of the zoological department of the National Museum in Prague were founded in 1818, at the time of the museum’s foundation. Currently, they contain approximately:
- 35,000 items of taxidermy, including 12,000 stuffed humming birds
- 5,000 clatches of eggs
- 1,500 complete and incomplete skeletons
- 100 nests
Among the unique pieces are the young specimen of the Great Auk (Alca impennis) and males of the extinct Labrador Duck (Camptolaemus labradorius). A historically interesting item is the beak of a Dodo bird (Raphus cucullatus), which most likely comes from the bird that the Emperor Rudolf II kept in his court in the early 17th century.
At present, the ornithology collections of the National Museum in Prague are being expanded primarily thanks to donations of dead birds, which come both from zoological gardens and from private breeders.