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Conservation News

Sep. 14, 2010
The least flycatcher spends most of its life in the lowlands of Mexico and Central America. It is easy to overlook with its drab coloration and size. It is only 5 inches long and weighs about the...
Sep. 01, 2010
On August 30, around 10:30 p.m., the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s 5-year-old female African lion Shera
Aug. 02, 2010
As frogs around the world continue to disappear—many killed by a rapidly spreading disease called chytridiomycosis, which attacks the skin cells of amphibians—one critically endangered species has...
Aug. 02, 2010
One of Japan's "special natural treasures" is now among the National Zoo's most valued scientific gems, after a voyage that has united two cultures in an international conservation effort.
Jul. 01, 2010
By Sara Hallager, Bird House Biologist at the National Zoo
Jun. 15, 2010
The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute has scientists all over the world, working to conserve all sorts of threatened ecosystems: grasslands in South America, jungles in Africa, cloud forests...
Jun. 01, 2010
When you ponder the enormity of the situation we’re in: the biggest mass extinction of
May. 01, 2010
One of the loudest birds that we hear in our yards is also one of the smallest. The tiny house wren weighs only 11 grams, about the same as 2 quarters, and is a mere 4 inches long.
May. 01, 2010
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Apr. 27, 2010
Shade-grown, Bird Friendly coffee is now available in five museum locations at the Smithsonian.
Apr. 01, 2010
By Stephen Schulze, Keeper at the National Zoo’s Small Mammal House
Mar. 01, 2010
By Mike Henley, Invertebrate Exhibit Keeper at the National Zoo
Dec. 27, 2009
Sales of organic, shade-grown coffee grown to the Bird Friendly standards of the National Zoo’s Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center rose to nearly $3.5 million in 2008.
A hummingbird perched on a tree branch
Nov. 14, 2009
Watch a hummingbird, and you will learn quickly what it likes to eat: nectar. The ruby-throated hummingbird, like all hummingbirds, is a nectar specialist.
Oct. 15, 2009
The San Clemente sage sparrow (Amphispiza belli clementeae) is a threatened, non-migratory subspecies endemic to San Clemente Island (SCI), which is the southernmost of the California Channel Islands.
large goose standing in water
Sep. 01, 2009
Many people are aware that both resident and migratory Canada geese (also known as Canadian geese) live in the United States and Canada. In fact, the distinction was recently made in relation to the...
Aug. 15, 2009
The eastern willet is a large migratory shorebird that, like many shorebirds, spends the non-breeding season in Central and South America and the breeding season in North America. Unlike most...
Jul. 15, 2009
The sedge wren is one of the most widespread birds in the Western Hemisphere, and yet it is one of the most poorly understood.
A small, blue and yellow bird, called a Kirtland's warbler, held in a researcher's hand
Dec. 14, 2008
Kirtland's warblers are so abundant in some parts of this ecosystem that it is hard to believe that the Kirtland's is the rarest songbird in North America, nesting almost exclusively in about 16...
Nov. 15, 2008
Besides the famous yellow-bellied sapsucker, there is another species of sapsucker, the Williamson's, and there are at least two others more closely related to the yellow-bellied.
small bird jumping on a branch near berries
Oct. 01, 2008
Hanging upside down on branches, stealing insects from the undersides of leaves, this acrobatic and gregarious bird is always a welcome sight. Though a common visitor to backyard feeders throughout...
large, long-tailed bird
Sep. 14, 2008
As soon as they step off the boat onto Santa Cruz Island, the largest of the eight California Channel Islands, a distinctive, metallic call greets visitors. This call belongs the island scrub-jay, a...
pigeon walking on ground
Jun. 14, 2008
The rock pigeon is the official English name for our common city pigeon. It is as noble as any animal when you view it in its proper place.
small bird standing on rock in stream
Apr. 01, 2008
The game of survival is all about carving out your niche and being successful in it. Within the natural world, few birds play this game better than the American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus).
brown bird with a pale throat and conical bill
Feb. 15, 2008
To many bird enthusiasts, the white-throated sparrow is just an "average Joe." In fact, I suspect that few birders living in Canada and the eastern United States have celebrated the long-awaited...