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

Night Flight: Tracking Data Reveal When and Why Songbirds Begin Their Massive Journeys and How They Decide to Leave

May 01, 2023

Bird House Reopens at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

February 22, 2023

Be a Tweetheart: Eat Chocolate and Save Birds

February 06, 2023

Smithsonian Bird Friendly®

Neotropical Migratory Bird FAQs

Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center Research

Bird House ›

The Bird House exhibit invites Zoo visitors to soar into the fascinating world of North American shorebirds, waterfowl and songbirds.