The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is dedicated to understanding, conserving and championing the grand phenomenon of bird migration. Founded in 1991, we are located at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. → Join our Center


The National Wildlife Federation featured our Carolina chickadee study in a recent article. Chickadees feed their nestlings copious numbers of insects. But does the abundance of non-native plants in suburban backyards affect their ability to raise young?

Photo by C. Betts

Chickadees, and most other songbirds, prefer to feed their young caterpillars, and caterpillars are much more common on native plants.

Unfortunately, according to Doug Tallamy, entomologist at the University of Delaware and co-advisor on this study, "about 80% of suburbia is landscaped with plants from Asia."

Read the article

Find out more about this study in our expedition blog

Expedition Blogs

First-hand updates from our researchers in the field.

Ryder Expedition Post

Dancing Birds and Swinging Monkeys


Bird Photo Gallery