Extinct Bird Hall – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Atlas Obscura

Extinct Bird Hall

Academy of Natural Sciences

Venture into the past with an unlisted exhibit hall featuring extinct birds. 


Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Sciences has been housed at its current location since 1876. The museum is well known for its 37 dioramas located in the North American, African, and Asian halls on the first and second floors. 

What you won’t find on the museum’s current map, or the average traveler’s itinerary, are two dioramas on the third floor, dedicated to birds of the past. First, there’s a small, window-like display of three extinct seabird species and a much larger forest scene featuring passenger pigeons. Across from the seabird display are two murals painted with the same depth and detail as the dioramas on the lower floors. To the left, you’ll find the towering moas of New Zealand. On the right is a prehistoric scene depicting archaeopteryx. Since there are no barriers to these murals, you can get as close as you like to take in all the immersive background details.

Turn left at the passenger pigeon diorama and continue towards the Outside in Exhibit, and you may notice a third mural down a short hall across from the bathrooms. This mural shows endemic birds of Mauritius, all extinct except for the pink pigeon.

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May 10, 2024

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