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.

Conservation News

May. 01, 2023
Every spring and fall billions of birds fly thousands of miles to reach their breeding and... read more
Feb. 22, 2023
Included below are comprehensive resources for media for the opening of the Bird House Exhibit at... read more


Smithsonian Bird Friendly

A stylized graphic of a blue bird perched on the branch of a coffee plant. A mug of coffee is behind the bird, and roasted coffee beans are arranged in a circular, sunburst pattern around the bird. The Bird Friendly logo is in the top right corner.

When you drink Bird Friendly® certified coffee, you brew a more biodiverse, sustainable world. Learn more about the only 100% organic, shade-grown coffee certification.

Migratory Bird FAQs

A small, yellow bird with some black and orange feathers, called a prairie warbler, perched on a green branch
Get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Neotropical migratory birds.

Bird House

The Bird House exhibit invites Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute visitors to flock this way and soar into the fascinating world of North American shorebirds, waterfowl and songbirds.