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Zoo News Archive

Feb. 27, 2009
Billie Jean, a three-year-old female spectacled bear, made her debut at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Weighing about 113 pounds and still growing, she is quite agile—climbing high in the new...
Feb. 27, 2009
A six-month-old, male Przewalski’s horse died at the National Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Va. Friday, Jan. 30, due to a fractured neck.
Jan. 27, 2009
Looking for the wildest way to celebrate Valentine's Day without breaking the bank? Attend the Smithsonian's National Zoo's friskiest and fun-filled FREE event: Woo at the Zoo Thursday, February 12.
Jan. 27, 2009
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is experiencing a critical and unexpected shortage of its bamboo supply and is reaching out to local landowners and farmers who have bamboo and will allow the Zoo to...
Jan. 27, 2009
Yesterday, a baby western lowland gorilla was born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Staff estimate the baby was born at approximately 1:45 p.m. to 26-year-old female Mandara and 16-year-old...
Jan. 27, 2009
If you have ever tried to capture a picture-perfect image of the National Zoo’s giant pandas or wondered how the Zoo’s photographers snap beguiling photos of animals as diverse as elephants and...
Jan. 27, 2009
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo has appointed Joseph M. Sacco associate director for education, effective Jan. 5, 2009.
Jan. 27, 2009
The 2009 giant panda mating season began Thursday, Jan. 15 at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Female Mei Xiang (may-SHONG) and male Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN) attempted to mate throughout the day...
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...
Large, dark bird perched on railing
Dec. 01, 2007
Few birds are so easily identified in flight as a crow, cutting a sharp, sleek image against the sky or a woodland edge with powerful, deliberate wing beats and black form.
An oriole perched on a branch
Nov. 01, 2007
The Baltimore oriole is perhaps the most famous neotropical migratory bird. Its brilliant orange and black plumage is reminiscent of the crest of Lord Baltimore, an important figure in Maryland's...
duck on rock
Jul. 01, 2007
The harlequin duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) is a cult bird. I came to this conclusion very early in life. I grew up birding in Northern California in the '60s and '70s when breeding harlequins had...
Jun. 14, 2007
The northern waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis) is a swamp thing, a seeker of wet woodlands far from where most people go.
bird standing on road on one leg
Aug. 01, 2005
The widespread American robin is one of our most familiar birds and its arrival in spring is eagerly anticipated.
Aug. 15, 2004
Despite its misleading name, the Tennessee warbler neither breeds nor over-winters in the state of Tennessee. This species got its name when the first specimen collected had the misfortune of being...
Jul. 01, 2004
As darkness descends along rural roadsides from Texas to Argentina, mysterious ember-like dots appear near ground level. Reflecting the beams of car headlights, this orange glow emanates from the...
Jun. 01, 2004
By John Barrat, Smithsonian Office of Public Affairs
A gray and white bird
Apr. 01, 2004
For many North American birdwatchers, the Cerulean Warbler is one of the most sought-after species during spring and summer.
Jan. 01, 2004
Eastern Phoebes are one of the first migratory birds to arrive in the spring in the northeastern United States. They often appear in March, well ahead of the peak migration for most forest songbirds...