Auburn's eagle, Spirit, retiring from pregame flights after 18 years
Spirit, Auburn’s beloved bald eagle mascot, has been making pregame flights at Jordan-Hare Stadium since Sept. 28, 2002.
That’s 18 years of pregame flights, for those keeping track at home. But, according to a release from Auburn, Spirit will make her last flight this season.
The release states that Spirit is 25 years old, so it is time for her to retire from the pregame flights:
Spirit has served the Auburn family well for the last 18 years and it is time to let her enjoy retirement as an educational ambassador. In 2021, Spirit is celebrating her 25th birthday and, since the median life expectancy for bald eagles in captivity is 16.5 years, raptor center staff and veterinarians decided it would be best to retire Spirit from stadium flights.
Spirit is the first bald eagle to fly at Auburn, as prior to her, golden eagles held the “War Eagle” title. However, a second bald eagle is waiting in the wings (pun intended) to take over for Spirit:
A younger bald eagle resident named Independence will debut during pregame flights this fall at Jordan-Hare alongside Aurea. Independence, affectionately known as “Indy,” will take her first stadium flight and make Auburn history as only the second bald eagle to participate in pre-game festivities during home football games.
Spirit will take her final flight when Auburn hosts Mississippi State on Saturday, Nov. 13.