The Museum’s historic Huxley Room has had many uses over the years; in 1860 it held the famous Great Debate – the first public discussion of Darwin’s new theory of evolution – and now it is home to many thousands of specimens from the Museum’s entomological collections.

But yesterday it became the backdrop for a photo shoot with Oxford band Stornoway, who are getting ready to release their third studio album in early 2015.


Seen here holding a bird from the Museum’s collection, the band admitted to an ornithological obsession. Singer, lyricist and guitarist Brian Briggs says;

[the new album has] a strong bird theme to it, including field recordings of around 20 different species of birds. We have a bit of a bird thing – I did my PhD on Ducks at Oxford University, which is how I met bandmate Jon.

He says that they love the Museum of Natural History and have a particular interest in quirky locations around Oxford. They’ve just played a sold-out show at the Sheldonian Theatre and will be back for a second night on Thursday 13th November.

We always love playing to our home crowd – we have a bit of a history of unusual venues in the city and the Sheldonian has got to be the most exciting of those – we were the first pop band to play in there when we did our previous gig there in 2009.

Perhaps we can convince them to bring their guitars next time they come to see us…


Bethany Palumbo, Conservator of Life Collections

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More than a Dodo

I'm Public Engagement Manager at Oxford University Museum of Natural History and I look after permanent displays and other interpretation. I do a bit of social media on the side, too.

One thought on “Birdsong

  1. Great to see Stornaway at the museum. It would be a great location for a gig! I was lucky enough to be at the Sheldonian gig on wednesday night. A wonderful evening. Loved the bird recordings – especially the lapwings, now beginning to gather again on Otmoor. Looking forward to the new album.
    Tom Nicholson-Lailey

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