Roxie Collie S. Laybourne (1910-2003), identifying bird feathers, c. 1944

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Ornithologist Roxie Collie S. Laybourne (1910-2003) worked in the Division of Birds at the United States National Museum and with the Bird and Mammal Laboratories, Fish and Wildlife Service. In the 1960s, Laybourne created the field of forensic ornithology, studying minute fragments of bird feathers in order to identify which birds were ingested into aircraft engines, often causing crashes. The field expanded to cover endangered species and criminal investigations.


  • Laybourne, Roxie C. 1910-2003
  • United States National Museum Division of Birds
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Bird and Mammal Laboratories


Also known as: [SPI_5758]

Cite as

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 04-086, Image No. SIA2009-0709

Repository Loc.

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507; 600 Maryland Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20024-2520


  • 1944
  • c 1944

Restrictions & Rights

  • No access restrictions Many of SIA's holdings are located off-site, and advance notice is recommended to consult a collection. Please email the SIA Reference Team at
  • No Known Copyright Restrictions


  • Forensic ornithology
  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Ornithology


Black-and-white photographs

Local number

SIA Acc. 04-086 [SIA2009-0709]

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