PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The National Aviary has undergone major renovations over the past couple of years. Now, the last phase has been completed.

The final phase of the $17.5 million renovation of the National Aviary is an outdoor, open-air, sky deck.

It’s a place where birds of prey fly freely and right over your head.

They have falcons, eagles and even kites. They are all part of the flying show that takes place on the brand new sky deck at the National Aviary.

One bird you’ll see is the martial eagle, which is an African species that is so big and strong, it actually hunts small deer.

But, there are some other featured feathers.

“The black kites are actually my favorite. Just watching them in the sky and doing all their acrobatic flying, I just can’t get enough of it,” Trainer Cathy Schlott said.

“Raptors are special. People relate to them. They are magnificent birds. They are birds of prey. They are hunters. They have spectacular facial features — their eyes, their beaks, their talons. They are powerful birds and people are just awestruck by them,” Laura Ellis with the National Aviary said.

The sky deck also features lanner falcons. Through something called lure flying, the birds are taught to hunt.

The new exhibit opens this weekend.


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