Aviary asks residents of Pittsburgh for help track down missing Steller’s sea eagle Kodiak


The National Aviary on the north side of Pittsburgh is asking the public for help in locating Kodiak, Steller’s sea eagle who escaped from his outdoor enclosure on Saturday.

The aviary has been closed since Saturday as groups of staff and volunteers deploy across Pittsburgh’s north side and neighboring communities to find and capture the large raptor which is almost twice the size of a bald eagle .

Over the past few days, the aviary has received numerous tips on the North Side and the neighboring Riverview area, said Cheryl Tracy, executive director of the National Aviary.

“We believe it is close to home,” she said at a press conference at the aviary on Tuesday.

Tracy praised the community for reporting Kody’s sightings.

“The feedback the community has had from Kody has been extremely helpful in our efforts,” she said.

Steller’s Fish Eagle is hard to miss as it is the largest bird in the local landscape. The dark-colored raptor, with males measuring almost three feet tall, has a wingspan of almost six feet, said Pilar Fish, senior director of avian medicine at the aviary.

The massive yellow beak stands out along with the large white spots on its shoulders and a white tail, she said.

The bird shouldn’t be soaring high in the sky like the bald eagles and turkey vultures in the area, Fish said. Kody is likely to take short flights from tree to tree and perch.

If anyone sees Kody, they should not approach him or make loud noises or abrupt movements that might surprise the bird and cause it to fly away, Fish warned.

The eagle is alert, cautious and can be frightened, she said.

Although Kody, who is 16, has lived his entire life in captivity, he is able to catch his food, especially rodents, which are part of his aviary diet, Fish said.

Tracy urged the public to continue to search for the bird and report sightings as soon as possible to 412-323-7235.

The cold shouldn’t affect her as Steller’s eagles are from Russia, she said.

The bird is in excellent condition and there are no health issues for it, Tracy said.

Kody does not have a microchip for identification, according to Aviary officials.

The aviary was closed on Tuesday due to Kody’s research efforts, said Carly Morgan, director of marketing for the aviary. The aviary staff will decide on its opening daily, she said. Visitors should call and check the aviary website for details.

Mary Ann Thomas is the editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .