The flight of the eagle around Jordan-Hare Stadium is a game day tradition unique to Auburn University. The spirit of pride and love for the university can be heard echoing throughout the stadium, as the crowd chants "War Eagle" in unison, with the eagle soaring gracefully above.
This tradition happens every Saturday of a home football game thanks to the weekly training done by the Southeastern Raptor Center.
"We train every day to prepare," said Marianne Hudson, assistant director of education for the Southeastern Raptor Center.
The work of the Southeastern Raptor Center goes beyond the training put into the flight of the famous Auburn eagles, Spirit and Nova. It is home to 26 raptors, including hawks, owls, falcons and vultures.
"The birds can range from the size of a phone to a six-foot wingspan," said Hudson.
The center serves as a rehabilitation facility for injured birds of prey. With a mission to promote wildlife conservation, the Southeastern Raptor Center offers many educational and outreach opportunities to the community.
"We offer shows on site and tours by appointment only," said Hudson.
For students interested in getting involved, there are volunteer opportunities available in the education and rehabilitation units.
"Students in the veterinary medicine program also go through an elective rotation here," said Hudson.
For fans interested in learning more about the facility and seeing the flight of the birds up close, the center hosts its annual event Football, Fans and Feathers each Friday during the fall. The remaining programs will be held November 13, 20 and 27. Tickets are $5 and reservations are not required to attend.
For more information about the services provided by the Southeastern Raptor Center, visit their website.
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