The War Eagle flight is one of the richest traditions in college football, but it didn’t go quite as planned on Saturday night.
War Eagle VII, also known as Nova, is now 15 years old and has been flying at games since 2006. Pregame flights are usually routine, but something must have caught Nova off guard. Perhaps the wind shifted or it just didn’t see the pole.
It clearly takes a turn back toward the field and maybe underestimated its own wingspan as it clips the goal post. Either way, Nova seemingly landed without issue, but the trainers clearly show concern when Nova lands.
When Nova isn’t making flights in front of fans or on the sidelines, it serves another role. According to the Auburn website:
The role of Auburn University’s eagles is to promote wildlife conservation as a part of the education initiatives of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Southeastern Raptor Center. The USF&WS permits the Raptor Center to house eagles and use them on hundreds of educational presentations each year — including Auburn’s home football games.
This is the second eagle incident at an SEC game in the past two weeks after a bald eagle decided it was done and decided to go rogue into the stands at Missouri last weekend.