The Southeastern Rapture Center is something you may not be very familiar with, even if you are from the State of Alabama.
However, if you really think about it, even if you are just a casual football fan, you will certainly know what is associated with it.
In fact, the two words associated with this center are without a doubt the two most important words for an Auburn football fan, “War Eagle”.
The educational division of the Southeastern Rapture Center, also known as the SRC, helps to care and train the Auburn Eagles.
These are the only Eagles that are ever used for the opening game ceremonies, and this includes Nova and Spirit.
Nova, a Golden eagle is War Eagle VII, and Spirit, a Bald Eagle, fills is as the backup.
Southeastern Rapture Center is located on Shug Jordan Parkway between Wire Road and Pumphrey Avenue.
If you are coming for exit 51, you will need to travel to the intersection of South College and Shug Jordan Parkway (to the left) and East University (to the right)
You would then make a left turn at the light on Shug Jordan Parkway.
Keep going through the intersection at Wire Road /Shug Jordan and the center will be located on your left.
The Educational Center of the Southeastern Rapture Center, in addition to training Auburn’s Eagles, conducts several other programs.
In fact, they conduct over 350 educational programs annually at both the center itself, as well as throughout the entire southeast.
Their major focus, other than rescue, is to educate the public about how important birds of prey are to our ecological system.
The other part of the center, the rehabilitation division, also takes in birds of prey and works with them until they are rehabilitated.
Once they are back to normal and healthy, they release them back into the wild.
This year alone they have helped a whopping 400 birds and when it is just not feasible or safe to release them, they keep them.
They are kept either in the facility at Auburn, or they are transferred to another educational facility.
Thanks to the generous support from the Alabama Power Company, the Alabama Power Intuitive has come about.
This is a tour conducted outdoors at the Southeastern Rapture Center, to show the visiting public the permanent residents that could not be released back into the wild.
The tour itself is approximately one hour long, as is designed for medium sized groups of 25 or fewer people.
The Educational group of the SRC can also tailor presentations to match your group’s goals and objections, as well as your curriculum.
This group will also help individual students that are working on a report and may need some help.
The actual history of the Southeastern Rapture Center is really quite interesting.
In the mid 1970’s, the center was founded by Dr. Jimmy Milton when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service brought in six injured birds.
They brought the birds to the College of Veterinary Medicine and not only asked the school for help, but they also asked them if they would become a rehabilitation hub.
The Dean, Jimmy Greene and Dr. Milton, arranged for the University to become a regional center to help and accept injured birds of prey.
During this time frame the general public made several donations as well as volunteered in order to get the Southeastern Rapture Center up and running.
In 1988, the Elmore Bellingrath Bartlett Raptor Center Hospital was opened behind the College of Veterinary Medicine.
All this was made possible because of a huge donation from Dr. Woody Bartlett in honor of his mother, Elmore Bellingrath Bartlett, an Alabama philanthropist.
In the year 2002, the College of Veterinary Medicine opened the Raptor training facility that was made possible by Carol Laster of Birmingham.
This training facility consists of 24 state of the art mews and an office building.
The non-releasable raptors are kept and trained at this facility, for their use in these educational programs.
In 2005, the Edgar B Cater Educational Amphitheater was opened, and it seats 350 visitors and shows the onsite flight programs.
The Football Fans and Feathers Program at the Southeastern Rapture Center are conducted on Fridays before all home games and are held in the amphitheater.
During this show hawks, falcons, eagles and other birds of prey are free flown from towers and around the amphitheater.
This allows the visitors to see these magnificent birds of prey up close.
All the birds that are used in this program are permanent residents of the non-releasable birds that would not be able to survive on their own in the wild.
If you are a huge Auburn fan, it is definitely worth your time to take this “War Eagle” Auburn Day trip.
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