Project Highlights

200-400 billion birds worldwide
40% of birds migrate each year
1 in 8 bird species are in danger of extinction
Scientists at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center work to understand the global decline in bird populations in order to conserve bird species. This research is applied towards the conservation of birds and their habitats.
LOCATION(S): Jamaica | Mexico | Costa Rica | Guatemala | Ecuador | Belize | Nicaragua | Cuba
Topics: Species

The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) is dedicated to understanding, conserving and championing the grand phenomenon of bird migration. Effective solutions for conserving bird populations require a fundamental understanding of bird biology.

SMBC seeks to clarify why migratory bird populations are declining before the situation becomes desperate. Their programs help raise awareness about migratory birds and the need to protect diverse habitats across the Western Hemisphere.

SMBC’s work broadly focuses on the ecology, evolution and conservation of migratory birds, whether it's studying annual migratory movements, collecting long-term data on migratory birds from North to South America, working with bird-friendly coffee farmers in Nicaragua, or bridging classrooms across the Americas.

Central to SMBC’s mission is bringing the best and most innovative science to broad audiences, sharing this information through education programs like Bridging the Americas, and with the public through SMBC’s signature citizen science program, Neighborhood Nestwatch.

Founded in 1991, SMBC is part of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, based in Washington, D.C.