The Smithsonian's National Zoo’s World Migratory Bird Day (previously International Migratory Bird Day) festival features family friendly activities, games and demonstrations — all in the name of bird conservation. Learn about the perils of migration and the incredible animals that undertake this journey as you sip Bird Friendly® coffee, test your bird-spotting skills and take part in fun, interactive games.
Celebrate the Year of the Bird and discover how you can help the birds in your backyard every day at this free event!
Games and Activities
Great Migration Challenge
Twice a year, billions of migratory birds must travel many miles between their summer homes in North America and their winter homes in Latin America. Embark on the Great Migration Challenge, and discover what this journey can be like for species like Baltimore orioles and wood thrush!
Bird watching can be a fun hobby for kids and adults alike. Test your bird-watching skills with Bird Quest, the bird identification game where you are challenged to find all of the birds hidden around the station.
How do you measure up to a turkey vulture, marabou stork or Carolina chickadee? Find out at the Avian Olympics station, where you can discover some of the amazing abilities and traits of birds, and see how you compare.
Bird Exploration Station
Get up close with birds! Touch and explore skulls, feathers and eggs as you learn about the incredible adaptations of birds at this sensory-friendly station. While you’re here, try out some bird-themed yoga poses!
Learn about the wildlife in your backyard, and see science in action! Throughout the event, SMBC scientists will be banding local resident and migratory birds, just as they would when conducting research in the field. See, hear and learn about these amazing creatures from the scientists who study them!
Discover how the coffee you sip could help protect migratory birds and their homes, along with many other vital species. Find out more about Smithsonian’s Bird Friendly certification program, as you sample some locally roasted Bird Friendly coffee!
Nature Play & Word Expeditions
You’re never too young to help care for animals and the planet! Stop by this station, sponsored by the PNC Grow Up Great Foundation, to learn how kids ages 2 and older can help protect birds, all while building early vocabulary skills! Discover the birds in your backyard and how you can help them through a fun, bird-themed craft.
Audubon Society of the District of Columbia
Discover some of D.C.’s best birding locations, learn how to use binoculars to spot birds and hear the songs of local birds at this station! This all-volunteer organization is devoted to fostering the conservation and enjoyment of birds and other wildlife in Washington, D.C.
City Wildlife is the District’s only organization that cares for injured, sick and orphaned wildlife, 50 percent of which are birds. Find out how to access care for birds in need and how you can help protect migratory birds at home.
Environment for the Americas
Get involved in bird conservation! Add your promise to help migratory birds to the Bird Pledge Tree, or decorate a bird cutout to take home. Be sure to pick up a migratory bird-themed sticker or temporary tattoo while you're at it.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Learn about migratory birds and where they live, as you play a bird migration game and find out about local bird-watching opportunities. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Migratory Bird Program works with partners like the Smithsonian’s National Zoo to protect, restore and conserve bird populations and their habitats.
Red Siskin Initiative
Take a red siskin selfie, as you learn about these beautiful birds and how Smithsonian scientists are working to save them! The Red Siskin initiative is an international partnership working to understand, protect and restore red siskins and the habitat they depend on for survival.
Loggerhead Shrike Conservation
Have you seen the butcher bird? Smithsonian scientists are tracking loggerhead shrikes — known as butcher birds — to better understand their movements and why they are disappearing. Hear from scientists studying this species and play a loggerhead shrike game.
U.S. Forest Service's International Programs and Wings Across the Americas
Learn about beak adaptations, test your bird knowledge in a "Jeopardy!"-inspired bird game and make a bird-themed craft to take home. The U.S. Forest Service's International Programs team works around the world to protect migratory species by preserving essential habitats for birds and other pollinators.
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