The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI) is reopening its Bird House on Monday, March 13 after a six-year closure.
The Bird House will reopen to the public having completed its $69-million large-scale renovations following its January 2, 2017 closure.
“To fully appreciate the brand new Bird House experience, visitors should grab their binoculars, take a moment to observe our birds and reflect on the wonderous cycle of bird migration,” Scott Sillett, head of NZCBI’s Migratory Bird Center, said in a press release.
Visitors will be able to “migrate” through the exhibit, learning about migratory birds and “how to live bird-friendly” as birds fly freely around them. The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, working in tandem with the Bird House, remains the only scientific institution that exclusively studies migratory birds.
The newly-renovated Bird House will showcase more than 170 birds from 56 different species, with an additional 16 bird species on view in the outdoor exhibits and the bird plateau.
“Now more than ever, raising awareness about the plight of migratory birds is key to their survival,” Brandie Smith, John and Adrienne Mars director of NZCBI, said in a press release. “As visitors walk through our spectacular aviaries and see these beautiful birds up close, I want them to appreciate the awe-inspiring journeys these animals make every year and walk away with the desire and knowledge to protect birds and their shrinking habitats.”
As visitors leave the exhibit, they can visit The Roost, the Bird House’s gift shop, which offers a variety of bird-themed souvenirs and items to help you live a bird-friendly life.
Though the exhibit is free, visitors will need to reserve timed-entry passes to experience the Bird House, available online and at the zoo’s Visitor Center. The timed-entry passes are part of a temporary effort to lighten the flow of visitors for the first several months so the birds can better acclimate to having visitors.
For more information, visit nationalzoo.si.edu.