Our Flock has Expanded by Two Large Wings and YOU Helped Name Her!
We are thrilled to announce the name of our FEMALE Steller’s Sea Eagle, living with Kody as his potential new mate in a habitat inside of The Charity Randall Foundation Eagle Hall.
A huge thank-you to all who participated in the naming process! The feedback was overwhelming, with more than 12,500 votes counted and over $14,000 raised in donations, which will go toward continuing to provide high-quality care to more than 500+ birds and animals who call the National Aviary home, including…
the name of our new female Steller’s!
And Now: You can now symbolically adopt her!Adopt Now!
Final four names were:
- Aurora (homage to Aurora Borealis, or The Northern Lights, which can be seen in several locations including Estonia, where she lived prior to the Aviary): almost 7,500 votes
- Juneau (pronounced Juno, the capital of Alaska, a state where this species has been seen in the wild): almost 700 votes
- Sitka (short for Sitkalidak Island near Kodiak, Alaska – the inspiration for Kody’s name; also Alaska’s fifth largest city): almost 1,000 votes
- Stella (an homage to the species name itself, the name Stella draws inspiration from “Steller’s Sea Eagle”): almost 4,000 votes
The new female arrived earlier this year from a European zoo. She and Kody have spent several months in a behind-the-scenes habitat gradually getting to know each other. Social dynamics among raptors are complex, which is why a private space was the best way to introduce them. We will continue to monitor their relationship closely in the months ahead. They are part of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) – collaborative breeding program.
“Steller’s Sea Eagles are magnificent birds, but their numbers in the wild are declining. AZA-collaborative breeding programs ensure the entire Steller’s Sea Eagle population remains healthy and genetically diverse for the long-term future,” said Kurt Hundgen, Senior Director of Animal Care and Conservation Programs for the National Aviary. “We are seeing positive signs that they are content and comfortable together. We hope this pair will raise chicks to boost the Steller’s Sea Eagle population.”
Kodiak, or Kody, the Steller’s Sea Eagle™®, has called the National Aviary home for more than 15 years. This charismatic bird made headlines back in 2021 when he accidentally got out of his habitat. Our team immediately launched an exhaustive recovery effort. We closed the National Aviary and focused our efforts on doing everything we could to get this beloved bird home safely. Thanks to tips from our supportive community and our team’s dedication, our animal care experts were able to safely bring Kody back home.
Our community was so instrumental in helping bring Kody home, that we wanted the community to be involved with naming his potential new mate.
Females can weigh up to 20 lbs and have a wingspan of up to 8 feet. She is an impressive bird and larger than Kody. It is common for female raptors to be about 1/3 larger than males.
See for yourself: book a visit now and say hi to Aurora; symbolically adopting her gives you one free admission pass to see her!General Admission Tickets
Steller’s Sea Eagles are found throughout Russia, Korea, Japan, and China, with most breeding in the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia. These large eagles nest on rocky outcroppings or in forested coastal areas. Fewer than 5,000 Steller’s Sea Eagles remain in the wild. Habitat loss, overfishing affecting the primary food sources of sea eagles, and pollution are driving dramatic population declines.
The Steller’s Sea Eagle habitat at the National Aviary underwent a full renovation in 2022. The naturalistic habitat features plenty of perching, a platform for nesting, a pond for bathing and playing, and other elements that encourage the natural behaviors of birds of prey.