AUBURN, Ala. – Despite there being no eagle flights at Auburn home football games this year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, one of Auburn’s most popular fall programs will return to offer a limited number of fans the opportunity to see a raptor show and flight demonstration.
The Southeastern Raptor Center’s Football, Fans and Feathers educational program once again will be held each Friday before home football games, and this year a new Saturday show will be offered. Each show will have its attendance limited to the first 50 guests.
“We are excited to again provide this unique and educational opportunity for a limited number of fans to experience an up-close view of the center’s birds of prey,” said Andrew Hopkins, assistant director of raptor training and education for the center.
The Football, Fans and Feathers event will be held on Fridays at 4 p.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m. CT before home games—which this year will occur on Sept. 26, Oct. 10, Oct. 31, Nov. 21 and Dec. 5.
Tickets are $8 per person, with children under 3 admitted free, for the hour-long program, which takes place at the center’s Edgar B. Carter Educational Amphitheater located at 1350 Pratt-Carden Drive off Shug Jordan Parkway. Tickets must be purchased in advance online. Tickets won’t go on sale until the Monday prior to each show and will stop being sold one hour prior to the start of the presentation.
Concessions will not be sold, but those attending are welcome to bring their own chair, food or drink. Gates will open one hour prior to the start of the presentation, and seating is first-come, first-served. Face masks and social distancing will be required for attendees.
During the show, hawks, falcons, eagles and other birds of prey are free-flown from towers and around the amphitheater, enabling visitors to see these raptors flying up close. The programs are delivered by Southeastern Raptor Center staff and volunteers.
At the conclusion of each presentation, several of the raptors are brought back out so attendees can have an up-close view and talk with the trainers. No two shows are alike, as different birds are chosen to soar overhead or visit guests up close on a trainer’s glove.
All birds used in the programs are permanent residents that are non-releasable due to prior injuries or human imprinting. The Southeastern Raptor Center is a division of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. For more information, visit www.auburn.edu/raptor.
(Courtesy of Auburn University)