Best Planned Structural Transformation
National Zoo Bird House
3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, (202) 633-4888
Hidden on a hill behind the panda habitat, the National Zoo’s Bird House, built in 1928, looks a bit gloomy. Aside from the daft kiwis who stumble around in the dark, the rest of its avian residents struggle to draw visitors’ attention. In an attempt to revive the space and teach the community about birds that don’t live in cages, the Zoo will transform it into “Experience Migration,” a center focused on the lives of migratory birds. Scientists from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center will also explain why they’re protecting these traveling wonders, from brightly colored warblers to diving shorebirds, who fly thousands of miles every year while avoiding threats both natural and manmade. Pandas have never looked lazier.