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Bald Eagle Challenger To Make Alumni Stadium Appearance Saturday

Sept. 29, 2010


Challenger, a non-releasable Bald Eagle who has performed free-flights during the American national anthem at hundreds of events, will make an appearance during the pregame festivities of Boston College’s non-conference game against Notre Dame on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 8 p.m.

“We have seen Challenger fly pregame for NFL and MLB teams and felt it would be a great opportunity to have him perform in Alumni Stadium for our fans,” Director of Athletics Gene DeFilippo said. 

Fans are encouraged to arrive early to Alumni Stadium.  Gates open 90 minutes prior to kickoff.  The pregame ceremonies will begin 30 minutes prior to kickoff.       

Challenger is a non-releasable Bald Eagle cared for by the non-profit American Eagle Foundation.  Since 1991, this majestic bird has been a free-flying educational ambassador for his recovering species in the wild. He was blown from his Louisiana nest in a storm at five weeks of age — was rescued and hand-raised by well-meaning people. As a result, he became human-imprinted for life.

Named in honor of the lost space shuttle crew, Challenger has performed free-flights during the USA's National Anthem at hundreds of events coast to coast — raising substantial public awareness for the Bald Eagle protection cause. He is the first Bald Eagle in American history trained to free-fly into stadiums and arenas during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.  He has helped educate millions of people about the need to protect the USA’s National Bird.

Once on the brink of extinction, the Bald Eagle has made a successful come-back to the USA’s lands, waterways and skies. In June 2007, our nation's living symbol of freedom was removed from Endangered Species Act protection. Its dramatic recovery is an American success story attained by caring people working together. It will now be up to every United States citizen to keep this precious national treasure flying strong and free for future generations.

Video highlights of Challenger’s previous flights may be viewed here:


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