Inside a chilly museum in Camarillo where the temperature typically hovers around 60 degrees, a condor stretches its 8-foot wingspan in a frozen pose.
The raptor is one of about 60,000 bird specimens mounted lifelike inside glass display cases and stored in cabinets that stretch from end to end of the 24,000-square-foot Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology.
The nonprofit research institute and ornithological repository also houses 18,000 nests, more than 56,000 study skins and 1 million individual eggs representing 4,000 different bird species, one of the largest egg collections in the world.
Ornithologists and researchers from around the globe visit the collections, which the foundation opens to the public twice a month.
Although his museum today is considered home to one of the finest avian collections in the world, Harrison originally wanted a two-story museum that could give visitors a bird’seye view, said Linnea Hall, the foundation’s executive director.