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National Zoo to Reopen Bird House After $69 Million Renovation
The new and improved, 30,000-sqaure-foot space will be the largest zoo exhibit to feature migratory birds across the Americas.
By Patrick J. Maguire • Published February 23, 2023 • NBC Universal, Inc.
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute will reopen its Bird House on March 13 after a six-year, $69 million renovation.
The new and improved, 30,000-sqaure-foot space will be the largest zoo exhibit to feature migratory birds across the Americas, the zoo announced. The various indoor and outdoor ecosystems will showcase 170 birds from at least 71 different species.
Visitors will be able to explore recreations of the ecosystems that the birds migrate through, including shores of the Delaware Bay, the “Prairie Potholes” (marshes of the Midwest) and a “coffee farm” aviary where it rains once an hour.
NATIONAL ZOONOV 7, 2022
The National Zoo reported that bird populations in the United States and Canada have dropped by around 29% since the 1970s. The main goal of the exhibits is to leave with a better understanding of the importance of migratory birds and how to help these species survive, according the zoo's conservationists.
“People don’t realize that millions of birds are disappearing from this area, so we wanted to help people not just see and appreciate these birds, but also give them actions to help save them,” National Zoo director Brandie Smith said.
National Zoo members can preview the Bird House beginning March 3 until it officially opens to the public on March 13. For the first few months of opening, visitors will reserve timed-entry passes in an effort to acclimate the birds to the new environment.