|Where do the museum's birds come from?|
British museum collections largely grew up from the early 19th century onwards, coinciding with the time of exploration. Trade with the British Empire (including America and much of Canada at that time, India, parts of Africa, Australia and New Zealand amongst others) meant that large previously unexplored (by British) areas were opened up for the first time. Specimens were sent back to Britain to be studied by experts, who worked out which species they belong to, and the distribution of different species. Many of these birds would have been shot specially, but many were picked up in markets.
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