its new Sky Deck this weekend, visitors received an up close view of
birds of prey swooping and diving above the open-air rooftop.
A martial eagle, lanner falcons, and six black kites are the stars of the show.
by lures sent flying by their trainers, the birds zoom above the
building. The lures they seek range from frozen pieces of chicken to
leather straps disguised with feathers.
Each bird is trained
extensively before its debut, to ensure that they do not fly away. The
lanner falcons are still completing training after a rainy spring, but
they are expected to join the show soon.
The Aviary in Allegheny
Commons Park is the only place in the country where you can see a
martial eagle fly freely and black kites fly in unison. It is also the
only aviary recognized by an Act of Congress. The National Aviary took
its name in 1993.
According to Laura Ellis, of the organization's
marketing staff, the parking lot is consistently filled with out of
town license plates, especially during the summer.
remarkable experience," she says. "It's the opposite of a zoo
experience. You're having a chance to observe birds in a way that you
would never see in captivity."
The Sky Deck is open at 11 a.m.
and 3:30 p.m. daily until Labor Day. Tickets are available online and
at the Aviary on the North Side. Reservations are recommended.
Writer: Lindsay Derda
Source: Laura Ellis, National Aviary