Kodiak, the sea eagle still missing in Pittsburgh, had a whole weekend | News | Pittsburgh
On September 25, a Steller’s sea eagle that lives in the Pittsburgh National Aviary apparently escaped from its enclosure. The large bird, named Kodiak, has been at large since, with a few intermittent sightings but no capture and return to the North Side facility.
The National Aviary has asked people who encounter Kodiak to keep their distance and report the sighting to the aviary by calling 412-323-7235. As of Mon Sept. 27 at 11:30 a.m., the aviary signaled that authorities are still looking for Kodiak and believe the raptor is still nearby on the North Side of Pittsburgh.
Since Kodiak has been away from home, many have stepped up efforts to find the bird by sharing their sightings on social media.
Kodiak, who has lived in the aviary for about 15 years, escaped on the morning of September 25 and soon after was spotted somewhere on the North Side by several people. Police and the aid company were at the scene, but Kodiak flew away and escaped capture.
WOW! Here is a close-up video of Steller’s sea eagle named Kodiak that escaped from the @ Aviary_nationale this morning. A group of runners saw him on Pennsylvania Avenue on the North Side of Pittsburgh. IF YOU SEE THE EAGLE, DO NOT APPROACH AND CALL 412-323-7235! pic.twitter.com/y8ehO0ycY2
– Jessica Guay (@JessicaGuayTV) September 25, 2021
Another tweet from September 26 shared a silhouette of an apparent bird sitting in the parking lot near the Cork Factory apartment complex in the Strip District, however, this silhouette does not fit the description of a Steller’s sea eagle, which is very tall and can reach 3 feet tall and has a very wide beak. As one commentator pointed out, the figure was probably a falcon statue which is intended to keep pigeons away.
The National Aviary believes Kodiak, nicknamed Kody, is still found on the north side, either in the neighborhood or along the rivers.
The search for the bird has become so popular in such a short time that a social media account has been created specifically to help. This is a parody account that is not associated with the aviary, called “Kodiak the Stellar Steller’s Sea Eagle” (@FollowThatBurgh), which launched this weekend, infused with helpful tips for spotting Steller’s sea eagles and a mix of parody and comedy.
The person behind the account, a Brookline resident who requested to remain anonymous, spoke with Pittsburgh City Paper and said they opened the account to help track details of Kodiak’s sightings and raise awareness of the bird’s disappearance.
” I worried [Kodiak], and saw the aviary and town tweets and the number of retweets was low initially, ”said the Brookline resident. “The local news has picked it up since then so I think more people know about it, but it seemed at first that injecting a little humor into the situation might get people more involved.”
While my natural habitat is a hike from the Burgh and you absurdly don’t have any salmon here, I can also hunt other fish, crabs, small mammals, and occasionally other birds (Shhh. Sometimes you are at the top of the food chain. It happens.) I am healthy, strong and good for a while.
– Kodiak the Stellar Steller’s Sea Eagle (@FollowThatBurgh) September 26, 2021
The parody account shared information about Steller’s sea eagles, which are one of the largest birds of prey and live on the northern Pacific coasts of Russia, Korea and Japan. They say Kodiak’s disappearance is no laughing matter, but they hope the account’s mix of comedy and information will help continue to keep awareness high in Kodiak’s research.
“It’s a tough line to walk because the question at hand isn’t really that funny, other than maybe a little bit of fun at the novelty of such a roaming bird,” said the resident. “Concerns for his safety and his return are very serious though. Having said that, humor is usually my preferred coping mechanism. I also think it’s one thing that helps grab people’s attention. … this situational awareness, more eyes on what happened, increases the chances that it will be found.