Auburn University’s Southeastern Raptor Center will host its annual fall educational series—Football, Fans and Feathers—again this season on Fridays before home football games.
Eight shows will give visitors the opportunity to experience up-close views of birds of prey while exploring the mysteries of their survival, flight, and ecological roles. The shows will take place on September 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30; October 28; and November 11 and 18. Each performance starts at 4 pm
New this year is the Auburn Opelika Tourism “Cool Zone.” Thanks to the support of Auburn Opelika Tourism, the raptor center has been able to purchase three fans that will be placed around the amphitheater to keep guests cool. One of the fans is an evaporative cooling unit that will be placed under a tent to provide shade and a cool breeze to prevent overheating.
“Auburn Opelika Tourism has long been a supporter of the Southeastern Raptor Center,” said Andrew Hopkins, deputy director of raptor training and education. “We are grateful for your continued support in ensuring that visitors have an enjoyable experience at our facilities.”
Tickets are $8 per person, with free admission for children 3 and under, for the one-hour program held at the center’s Edgar B. Carter Educational Amphitheater at 1350 Pratt-Carden Drive at Shug Jordan Parkway. . Tickets will be available at the amphitheater or can be purchased in advance online at www.aub.ie/fff. This is a cashless event, so only checks or cards will be accepted at the event.
Doors open one hour before the performance begins and seats are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. The amphitheater has capacity for 350 visitors. Attendees may bring their own chair, food or drink. The amphitheater is an open-air facility with little shade.
During the show, hawks, falcons, eagles, and other birds of prey fly freely from the towers and around the amphitheater, with each show featuring approximately 10 raptors. At the end, several raptors are brought out so attendees can get a closer look and talk with the trainers. No two shows are the same, as a variety of birds are chosen for each show.
Guests attending the show will also get a glimpse of the decoy that will be used on game day. A unique decoy is made for each game, which the eagle will land on before the game and will then be auctioned off. Lure auctions begin the Thursday before the game and end the Monday after the game. Find out more about these auctions by visiting www.aub.ie/auction.
All birds used in the programs are permanent residents that cannot be released due to prior injury 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.