Quirky Attraction: The National Aviary in Pittsburgh

pittsburgh national aviary

The National Aviary in Pittsburgh has one of the widest collections of bird species that you’ll find anywhere.

Avid bird-watchers will love the place, but even folks like me who aren’t bird experts will enjoy the aviary because it has lots of really unique and fascinating birds, from bald eagles to toucans to flamingos. And of course, there’s a sizable penguin collection, in honor of the five-time Stanley Cup champions who play hockey in this city.

How Did It Become The National Aviary?


In the early ’90s, the Pittsburgh Aviary was short on funding and was in danger of closing. Congress stepped in and came to the rescue (government actually works sometimes!) by passing a bill declaring it The National Aviary. President Clinton signed it into law, and suddenly the facility had the “national” tag and additional revenue.



More than 150 species are now represented at the aviary. Three rooms allow the birds to fly around freely, zipping over your heads as you saunter through the exhibits. There’s a tropical rainforest, a wetlands environment, a grasslands room, and a condor court, among others.


What to See at the Aviary in Pittsburgh

A basic visit to the aviary is $15, which is reasonable for the huge amount of birds on site. Expect to see finches, pelicans, parrots, vultures, roadrunners, macaws, hawks, ducks, and ravens during your visit.


The cool part is that the facility offers several interactive opportunities. Daily bird feedings take place in various rooms, and guests can pay extra to have personal encounters with penguins, flamingos, owls, and other species.


More than 100,000 people visit the aviary each year. Anyone visiting Pittsburgh with kids should definitely plan a stop here. Wildlife-loving adults will also find the aviary to be a worthwhile attraction.

If You’re Going: The National Aviary

Address: 700 Arch St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 (Google Map)
Cost: $15 adults, $14 kids
When to Visit: Open 10am – 5 pm daily
Time Needed: Roughly an hour
Website: https://aviary.org
Budget Lodging Nearby: SpringHill Suites North Shore
Upscale Lodging Nearby: Allegheny Inn
Further Reading: The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America (Amazon)