Roxie Laybourne Stands in Front of "Feather Focus" Exhibit Case

image for Roxie Laybourne Stands in Front of "Feather Focus" Exhibit Case
Historic Images of the Smithsonian
With Smithsonian Secretary Alexander Wetmore's encouragement, Laybourne accepted a short-term appointment in 1944 in the Bird Division at the National Museum of Natural History, working with taxidermist Watson Perrygo and curator Herbert Friedmann. Known as the "Feather Lady," Laybourne pioneered the field of forensic ornithology at the Smithsonian Institution by studying the detailed microscopic structure of plumaceous (downy) feather barbules and creating a technique of identifying species of birds from fragmentary feather samples. Her methods revolutionized aviation safety by creating a technique of identifying birds involved in aircraft bird strikes. That work led to the development of the first laboratory in the world dedicated solely to feather identification. The methods she developed are now routinely applied to studies of prey remains, evidence from criminal cases, and anthropological artifacts.
For more images of Roxie Laybourne, see SIA2009-2205, SIA2010-0575, SIA2010-0580, SIA2010-0639, SIA2014-07398, SIA2014-07403, SIA2014-07404, SIA2014-07405, SIA2014-07406, SIA2014-07407, SIA2014-07411, SIA2014-07413, SIA2014-07417, SIA2014-07421, SIA2014-07431, SIA2014-07434, SIA2014-07441, SIA2014-07442, and SIA2014-07448.
Roxie Laybourne stands in front of an exhibition case featuring her feather research for an exhibit called "Feather Focus" from October 25, 1996 - June 20, 1997 in the Natural History Building. To the left in the picture is a television which would show information on the exhibit and the entrance to the Men's Room.
Contained within
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 04-086, Box 2, Folder 5
Contact information
Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,
Restrictions & Rights
No restrictions
October 24, 1996
Standard number
Laybourne, Roxie C. 1910-2003
Natural History Building
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Division of Birds 1969--
Exhibit cases
Smithsonian Institution--Employees
Physical description
Number of Images: 1; Color: Color; Size: 6w x 4h; Type of Image: Person, candid; Exhibit; Medium: Photographic print
Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Photographic print
Person, candid