AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – A beloved tradition is returning to Jordan-Hare Stadium in the coming weeks. Pre-game eagle flights will resume in the stadium with the start of the football season.
On Tuesday, War Eagle VIII, Aurea, was back at Jordan-Hare preparing for the season ahead. The golden eagle was joined by bald eagles Spirit and Independence, who occasionally share pre-game flight duties with Aurea.
Pre-game eagle flights were suspended in at the beginning of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aurea is fairly new to her duties as War Eagle VIII. She replaced Nova, War Eagle VII, in 2019. Aurea came to Auburn’s raptor center in 2016, after she was found near Selma with a wing injury.
Nova officially retired from the pre-game flights in November 2019, but had been sidelined since 2017 due to a heart condition.
The tradition of the pre-game flights began on August 31, 2000, with War Eagle VI, Tiger. The golden eagle became the first to fly free around the stadium at the game against Wyoming.
The eagles are cared for by Auburn University’s Southeastern Raptor Center. The center is a regional rehabilitation facility. It provides educational programming for those interested in learning about raptors and care to birds of prey in need.