Auburn University

Auburn football fans can take part in this unique show before kickoff on Saturdays

Gus Malzahn recaps Auburn’s first fall scrimmage

Gus Malzahn discusses turnovers after Auburn's first fall scrimmage on August 8, 2019 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
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Gus Malzahn discusses turnovers after Auburn's first fall scrimmage on August 8, 2019 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Fans of the Auburn Tigers can get an up-close view of various birds of prey before the eagle flies across Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The Southeastern Raptor Center’s Football, Fans and Feathers educational program returns this fall, and will be held each Friday before home football games.

During the show, hawks, falcons, eagles and other birds of prey are free-flown from towers and around the 350-seat, open-air Edgar B. Carter Educational Amphitheater, enabling visitors to see the raptors flying up close. Some birds will fly above the crowd, and some will remain with the trainer as he or she speaks to the audience about that particular bird.

At the conclusion of each presentation, several of the birds are brought back out so attendees can have an up-close view, take photos with the birds and talk with the trainers. No two shows are alike, according to a press release from the school, as different birds are chosen each show to soar overhead or visit guests up close on a trainer’s glove.

“It’s an opportunity for the public to come and see our raptors and learn about them,” Southeastern Raptor Center assistant director of raptor training and education Andrew Hopkins said in the release.

The event has grown from around 12 attendees at its first show to capacity crowds today, according to Hopkins. The show’s largest crowd, prior to the 2015 Iron Bowl, peaked at over 1,000 visitors.

Tickets are $5 per person, with children under 3 admitted free, for the hour-long program, which begins at 4 p.m. CT each Friday. Gates will open at 3 p.m. and seating is first-come, first-served. Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance and arrive early as amphitheater seating is limited, and the university expects large attendances, particularly at the November presentations.

The dates for each show are as follows:

  • Sept. 7
  • Sept. 14
  • Sept. 28
  • Nov. 2
  • Nov. 16
  • Nov. 23
  • Nov. 30

For more information about the Southeastern Raptor Center, visit www.auburn.edu/raptor.

Joshua Mixon is a reporter for the Ledger-Enquirer. He covers sports (Auburn and preps) and local news, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America. He previously covered Georgia athletics for the Macon Telegraph. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshDMixon.
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