Wonderful Women Wednesday: Sara Hallager

Each week, the Archives features a woman who has been a groundbreaker at the Smithsonian, past or present, in a series titled Wonderful Women Wednesday.

At the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, we are determined not to let history repeat itself. From our colleagues at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, who research and track birds in the wild, to our Bird House keepers who care for and breed these animals at the Zoo, we are working together to study, understand and protect common birds now—before it’s too late.

                         —Sara Hallager, Curator of Birds, 2020 

Sara Hallager is curator of birds at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. She began working at the Zoo as a volunteer in 1984 and as an employee in 1987. 

NZP's Veterinary Hospital

Hallager is responsible for managing the day-to-day avian care, including reproductive programs, conservation programs, interpretive and public programs, and beyond. She and her team have most recently been working on the new Bird House, opening in 2021,which includes three themed aviaries and interactive exhibits that will immerse visitors in the cyclical migrations of shorebirds, waterfowl and songbirds. For more than two decades, Hallager has hand-raised and studied kori bustards at the Zoo. 

Hallager earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Maryland. 

Hallager holding a kori bustard. The caption below reads: Sara Hallager, curator of birds at the Smi

Photo Credit: Smithsonian's National Zoo

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