International Migratory Bird Day 2016

Join us on Saturday, May 14 at the National Zoo to celebrate the return of migratory birds and the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty.


From 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. there will be special activities around the Bird House exclusively for Migratory Bird Club and FONZ members.

  • Guided bird walks: 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 10 a.m.
  • Bird banding: 8-10 a.m.
  • Stanley crane walk: 9 a.m.
  • Meet an oriole: 9 a.m.
*Participants must be 8 years of age or older


From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the fun continues on the plaza in front of the Elephant House with a public festival featuring:

  • Live birds of prey
  • Bird-themed activities and crafts
  • Free samples of Bird Friendly coffee
  • Interactive displays by conservation organizations (see Exhibitors)
  • Performances of the musical theater show "Superbirds!"
    Shows are 15 minutes long and begin at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., & 1:30 p.m.

Animal Demonstration Schedule

11:00 a.m.Indoor flight room enrichment demo
1:00 p.m.Stanley Crane walk*
1:00 p.m.Pileated Woodpecker talk
1:00 p.m.Meet-a-Ratite keeper*
1:30 p.m.Meet-a-Flamingo keeper*
2:00 p.m.Black-crowned Night-Heron feeding*

*All demonstrations will take place at the Bird House. Demos marked with an asterisk are located outdoors, around the perimeter of the building, and are weather dependent.


  • City Wildlife
  • DC Audubon
  • DoD Natural Resources Program
  • Environment for the Americas
  • Raptor Conservancy of Virginia
  • Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center
  • US FWS—Migratory Birds

Spread your wings for bird conservation at the Smithsonian's National Zoo! Did you know some migratory birds fly more than 10,000 miles one way? At this free event you can learn what propels these migrants each year, about specific issues threatening their long-term survival, and about how birds have inspired many of the most significant environmental conservation actions in the Americas. One such action is the Migratory Bird Treaty, signed one hundred years ago to conserve birds that migrate across international borders.

The National Zoo's International Migratory Bird Day festival will feature activities, demonstrations, and live musical theater performances—all in the name of bird conservation. During this festival, you will have the opportunity to hear from Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center scientists, find out how to help protect migratory birds through your coffee drinking habits, create a bird strike window decal to help make your home more bird friendly, and so much more.

Joining the Zoo at this event will be the DC Audubon Society, the District of Columbia's Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE), Environment for the Americas, Raptor Conservancy of Virginia, City Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program.

Birds are one of our closest connections to wildlife and nature; they share habitats with humans in cities, suburbs, forests, farms, and beyond. On May 14, join the National Zoo in making the world a better place for birds!