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Conserving Migratory Birds: Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC)

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Conservation scientists putting GPS tag on endangered bird




Long-Term Research
Science & Conservation

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.



Pete Marra  

Pete Marra is a conservation scientist at the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. He studies the ecology, migratory patterns and decline of birds across the Western Hemisphere. Pete also heads the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC).

Mike Hallworth  

Mike Hallworth is a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC). He studies migratory connectivity, the connection between breeding and non-breeding areas of migratory organisms and population ecology of migratory songbirds.