Auburn announces bald eagle Spirit retiring from pregame flight tradition

The Auburn Tigers are retiring iconic bald eagle Spirit from her position in pregame flights at Jordan–Hare Stadium after 19 years of service.

It’s soon to be the end of an era for Auburn football.

In 2021, Spirit the bald eagle will retire from pregame flights at Jordan-Hare.

The Tigers announced the retirement in a press release, giving the 25-year-old eagle a well-earned retirement.

“Spirit is still in very good health, but due to the onset of arthritis — which is typical for an eagle her age — the intensity of stadium flight needs to be scaled back. She will continue to be very active in educational programming and will still participate in occasional training exercises,” Auburn said.

Auburn fans have been thrilled by bald eagle Spirit for nearly two decades

Spirit made her first flight at Jordan-Hare in 2002. She was found in Florida in the 1990s with an injured wing and beak. Unfortunately, after receiving treatment, she was not fit to be released back into the wild, so she found a home at the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Southeastern Raptor Center. She’s made 45 pregame flights since.

Spirit’s final pregame flight will take place on Nov. 13 when the Tigers host Mississippi State. The team will have a halftime presentation to honor the long-serving fixture of Auburn games.

Golden eagle Aurea will continue to fly as War Eagle VIII. Fans of bald eagles, in particular, can anticipate the arrival of a new member of the pregame flight team. Another bald eagle named Independence will carry on Spirit’s legacy, becoming the second of its kind to take part in the Auburn pregame tradition.

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