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Migratory Bird Center

Dedicated to understanding, conserving and championing the grand phenomenon of bird migration
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Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center

The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is dedicated to understanding, conserving and championing the grand phenomenon of bird migration. Founded in 1991, and located at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C., SMBC scientists seek to clarify why migratory bird populations are declining before the situation becomes desperate. Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center programs help raise awareness about migratory birds and the need to protect diverse habitats across the Western Hemisphere.

Since 1970, bird populations in the U.S. and Canada have declined by 29%, or almost 3 billion birds, signaling a widespread ecological crisis. The results show tremendous losses across diverse groups of birds and habitats — from iconic songsters such as meadowlarks to long-distance migrants such as swallows and backyard birds including sparrows. Learn more about the 3 Billion Birds campaign and Seven Simple Actions to Help Birds.

Center News

Sep. 20, 2019
Egyptian vultures from Eastern Europe migrate twice as far as vultures in Western Europe to their... read more
Sep. 19, 2019
A study published today in the journal Science reveals that since 1970, bird populations in the... read more

@SMBC

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Get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Neotropical migratory birds.

Bird House

The Smithsonian's National Zoo’s historic 1928 Bird House will transform into a first-of-its-kind attraction that immerses visitors in the annual journeys of western hemisphere birds.