Year of the Bird exhibit opens at Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium

Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium is excited to partner with the National Audubon Society and Ducks Unlimited in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the groundbreaking Migratory Bird Treaty Act with a brand-new bird-focused exhibit now on display for a limited engagement.

The Year of the Bird showcases the fascinating untold story of bird conservation in the 20th century. The exhibition begins with hunter, artist and conservationist John James Audubon, whose influential paintings helped galvanize support for bird conservation at a time when birds were being commercially harvested as fashion accessories. Among the oldest and most important wildlife protection laws on the books, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is credited with saving many species, such as the Snowy Egret and Wood Duck, from extinction. It continues to protect nearly all birds native to the United States, covering more than 1,000 species.

“We are incredibly honored to be a part of Year of the Bird and pay homage to one of the most significant and impactful wildlife-protection laws in history,” said Johnny Morris, noted conservationist and founder of Wonders of Wildlife and Bass Pro Shops. “This remarkable exhibition will highlight an important milestone of conservation history and encourage visitors to become advocates for bird conservation worldwide.”


Interactive experiences

Using a mix of historic artifacts, interactive multimedia experiences, artwork and photography, Year of the Bird showcases the magnificent beauty of birds and the ongoing efforts of sportsmen and women to protect and conserve them for future generations.

An interactive display allows visitors to trace the North American bird-migration routes traveled by a variety of bird species. Bird wingspan graphs allow guests to compare the length of their arms to the powerful wings of a wide range of birds. Through live video streams, guests are transported around the world to observe birds and weather conditions in different habitats. An awe-inspiring video message calls on visitors to get involved in protecting birds for another century and beyond.

Other Year of the Bird features pay homage to the legacy of conservation achievements from leading conservation organizations and sportsmen and women across North America:


  • Bird photography: On display inside Year of the Bird, guests will enjoy images from the Audubon Photography Awards, celebrating the splendor of many bird species protected under the 100-year-old Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Award-winning photos on display feature stunning visuals from Professional, Youth and Amateur categories.
  • Influential artwork: See and experience life-size prints representing the original artwork of John James Audubon’s Birds of America collection, credited with inspiring the early conservationists that fought for the Migratory Bird Treaty Act a century ago.
  • Conservation legacy: Guests can learn more about the legendary conservation contributions of Ducks Unlimited, a world leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation, and the more than 14 million acres of critical waterfowl habitat conserved since the organization’s founding in 1937.


Year of the Bird is a celebration of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and an engaging experience that brings guests face-to-face with the story of protecting native birds,” said Glenn Olson, Donal O’Brien chair in Bird Conservation and Public Policy for National Audubon Society. “Just as the birds protected pay no attention to borders, visitors will leave this experience inspired to work with neighbors near and far to ensure the future of these species and continue protecting our vital environmental laws.”

Beyond this exhibit, 2018 is being celebrated as Year of the Bird by more than 50 partners, including Audubon, National Geographic, the Cornell Lab of Omithology and BirdLife International as lead organizations. The passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act 100 years ago was one of Audubon’s first major conservation victories and paved the way for many of our most iconic birds to rally from near-extinction.

Bird education and experiences at Wonders of Wildlife

In addition to the temporary exhibit, Wonders of Wildlife has several other exhibits dedicated to educating guests about birds and bird conservation. The museum provides youth groups with immersive conservation experiences and adventures to encourage young people to learn about and care for birds and other wildlife. Many bird species call Wonders of Wildlife home, including flamingoes, Gentoo penguins, bald eagles, aracari toucans and great-horned owls.

Admission to Year of the Bird is included with general admission to the Wildlife Galleries at Wonders of Wildlife. Museum members can experience unlimited visits to the exhibition as part of their membership benefits. Additional details can be found at