Before we took our trip to Alabama, Damon saw the Auburn Raptor Center was now offering demonstrations of its rehabilitated raptors every Friday before a home game. He suggested that Grandma and I take Fuller to see the show on Friday, and I thought it sounded pretty good.
The Auburn Raptor Center does their demonstrations at the SRC Amphitheater. For some reason, it never occurred to me amphitheater = outdoors. So when we arrived there and saw the outdoor seating, I had a slight panic. No sunscreen, no hat for Fuller, and I didn’t bring my water bottle.
Fortunately, the admission stand ($5 per person for the show) had cold bottled water for $1.15. Damon said $1.15 for cold bottled water was much better than the $4 a bottle we would pay the next day at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The demonstration was really amazing. We saw owls, hawks, falcons, a vulture and an eagle. The handlers showed us how the raptors fly, hunt, and eat. Some of the raptors are tethered when they fly and others are trained so well they are not tethered.
Fuller learned one bird call, which at the moment he can’t duplicate, but when he did… it was cute!
In case you are not aware, Auburn’s war cry is “War Eagle!” Part of the legend has a Golden Eagle circling the football field when Auburn was playing Georgia, causing the fans to yell “War Eagle!”
As part of the pre-game ceremony at Auburn home games, an eagle is released to circle above Jordan-Hare Stadium and flies down to the field. They swap out the eagles, and currently Spirit, a Bald Eagle, is being used in the early games of 2008-2009 season. However, in the tradition of War Eagles, War Eagle VII, aka Nova, is the Golden Eagle we were able to see up close last Friday. He will fly later in the season at home games. We were able to see him released and fly around the amphitheater once.
It really was a fun experience. Damon was able to join us, so it made it easier on me to take pictures and for Grandma to enjoy herself as well. While it was hot, we stayed hydrated and happily fanned ourselves with complimentary fans to keep a bit cooler. If you are ever in Auburn on a home game Friday, make plans to see the raptors. It really is an awe inspiring event.
[tags]Auburn, Auburn Raptor Center, Raptors, War Eagle[/tags]