Birds and Snakes

These two beautiful birds and the snake (is that beautiful it makes me shudder?), are to be discovered in the Museums latest exhibition of artefacts etc. Artefacts that have been hidden away for years and are now on display in one of the galleries. While some of the older generation will remember them from visits to the museum many years ago, it is also a bit of a mystery where they came from and how old they are.

P Marples

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  • Hello Pauline, I just thought I’d respond to your earlier question regarding certain natural history pieces in Mansfield Museum. As the aforementioned answer from Pete the birds in question are the wonderful Secretary birds and I’m pretty sure they belonged to the famous sporting naturalist “Joseph Whitaker.”
    Like many people both my twin brother Stephen and friends would be mesmerised by the excellent natural history collection belonging to the local famous naturalist Joseph Whitaker. The period would be in the year of approx 1975-1978 if my memory serves me correctly.
    There was also an Egyptian Nightjar in his wonderful collection, and shot in Thieves Wood in the 1800’s by Whitaker’s keeper Albert Spinks. There has I think only ever been 2 of these type Nightjars recorded in this country and of course 1 belongs to our area.”In my humble opinion the Museum is nowadays a mere shadow of its former self; why not display Whitaker’s collection once again and especially in his memory?

    By David Marriott (12/11/2019)
  • Excellent news – I loved going round the Museum after I had been in the library on Saturday mornings.  I have often told my grandchildren about all the stuffed animals and birds that were on display.  Now they will get to see what I have been talking about.


    By Val Mason (17/03/2016)
  • I remember this particular cabinet from when my dad took me to the museum in the 1950s, we used to visit about once a week.


    By Peter Bowler (04/03/2016)
  • There is also an exhibit with a Mongoose attacking a snake.

    By Tom Shead (01/03/2016)
  • I can remember seeing this exhibit as a child back in early sixties

    By Barry (29/02/2016)
  • Hello Pauline, I worked for Mansfield Council as an electrician for almost 44 years  and I have been retired for nearly 5 years. In that time I worked at the museum many, many times and can remember seeing this particular exhibit as a young apprentice just starting out. Once we had to move it to get to repair the lights above the display case. I suppose many more readers can probably  remember further back than me. I think the exhibits are Secretary birds from Africa and are experts at killing snakes.


    By Pete Higgins (29/02/2016)

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