Skip to main content
This program is sold out.

There is no waitlist available for this program. Contact us to inquire about ticket availability.

The National Zoo’s Bird House: Close-up on Avian Conservation

In-Person Program

Morning Tour

Friday, March 15, 2024 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1NSA01
Tour meets at Smithsonian Bird House
Smithsonian National Zoo
3001 Connective Ave NW, Washington, DC
Metro: Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan
Select your Tickets

Outdoor habitats feature favorites such as whooping cranes (The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute)

Soar into the fascinating world of North American shorebirds, waterfowl, and songbirds at the Bird House at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. Built in 1928 and reopened in 2023 after a six-year renovation, the Bird House­ reflects a new era in which zoos function as key players in wildlife conservation.

Recognizing the dramatic decline of migratory bird populations around the world, the Bird House’s exhibitions are designed to inform and empower the public to take action to conserve wild birds. In three indoor walkthrough aviaries, visitors are surrounded by a diversity of birds as they explore realistic recreations of key habitats that support them acoss their annual migratory cycle. Also on site is the Bird Observatory, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center’s regional hub for ornithology, community science, and outreach.

Brian Evans, an ornithologist at the center, and members of the Bird House’s animal-care team lead an immersive, close-up exploration of the exhibitions and the science that informs bird conservation. Take off with a wild-bird banding demonstration at the Bird Observatory and gain insights into how ornithologists study the survival of birds in different environments and how they can leverage this knowledge to help conserve their populations. Learn how to use binoculars like a pro, then put your new skill into practice by observing the residents of the walkthrough aviaries. Step into settings that recreate the Delaware Bay, which provides a stopover habitat and crucial food resources for migrating shorebirds; the Prairie Pothole, a critical upper-Midwest breeding habitat for most of the migratory ducks in the Western Hemisphere; and the Bird Friendly Coffee Farm, a traditional, rustic location where songbirds flit among canopy trees, representing a habitat for migratory songbirds during the nonbreeding period.

Wind down in the Bird House gardens, where you can find out how decisions made in your own backyard can help support birds, and conclude the tour with a tasting of Smithsonian-certified Bird Friendly coffee and a conversation with Evans and the staff members.

Know Before You Go

  • Tour participants meet at the Bird House at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC.
  • For Metro: Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan (Red line)
  • Comfortable shoes are recommended.

Additional Date Options for this Tour

General Information

  • Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 14, 2024.
  • Smithsonian Associates is a mask-friendly environment. Please feel free to bring and wear a mask at any time during a tour, both for your safety or the safety of others.
  • For additional tour information:

Inside Science