Auburn University: Auburn raptor center presenting Football, Fans and Feathers show on Fridays before home football games

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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 guests an opportunity to experience an up-close view of birds of prey while exploring the mysteries of their survival, flight and ecological roles. Shows will be held Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30; Oct. 28; and Nov. 11 and 18. Each show begins at 4 p.m.

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 both shade and a cool breeze to prevent overheating.

“Auburn Opelika Tourism has been a longstanding supporter of the Southeastern Raptor Center,” said Andrew Hopkins, assistant director of raptor training and education. “We are thankful for their continued support in ensuring visitors have an enjoyable experience at our facility.”

Tickets are $8 per person, with children ages 3 and under admitted free, for the hour-long program that takes place at the center’s Edgar B. Carter Educational Amphitheater at 1350 Pratt-Carden Drive off Shug Jordan Parkway. Tickets will be available at the amphitheater or may be purchased in advance online at www.aub.ie/fff. This is a cash-free event, so only checks or cards will be accepted at the event.

Gates open one hour prior to the start of the presentation, and seating is first-come, first-served. The amphitheater has seating for 350 visitors. Those attending are welcome to 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 are free-flown from towers and around the amphitheater, with each program featuring approximately 10 raptors. At the conclusion, several raptors are brought back out so attendees can have an up-close view and talk with the trainers. No two shows are alike, as a variety of birds are chosen for each program.

Guests attending the show also will get a sneak peek at the lure that will be used on gameday. A unique lure is made for each game, which the eagle will land on prior to the game, and will then be auctioned off. The lure auctions begin on the Thursday prior to the game and end the Monday after the game. Learn more about these auctions by visiting www.aub.ie/auction.

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.

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