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That Bald Eagle at the Birds Home Opener Thinks It’s a Person

Sep 17, 2013, 12:16 PM EDT

fast forward to 2:15 to see the fly Eagle fly

Home openers always have an exciting vibe to them in Philadelphia. Everyone loves a little pomp to really add to the anticipation of the football season finally being back in town. Plus, jet planes flying a couple of hundred feet above your head at ridiculously high speeds is totally badass.

source:  There was sadly no flyover on Sunday at the Linc — stupid government sequestration — but there was the special treat of a real live bald eagle soaring around the stadium during the national anthem. It was a pretty awesome moment and the crowd really got into it.

During my typical postgame video searching I found the above video of the Eagle, named Challenger, doing its thing and decided to learn a little more about the bird.

From the American Eagle Foundation website that takes care of Challenger:

In early 1989, Challenger was blown from a wild nest as a baby during a storm, and was hand raised by the people who found him. Unfortunately, he experienced too much human contact at a very young age and became highly “human socialized.” As a result, “Challenger” thinks he’s a person, and cannot survive on his own in the wild.

He was released into the wild twice during the summer of 1989. After his second release into the wild, “Challenger” was rescued from a close encounter with death. He had landed near a man to beg for food, and almost got beat up by that person with a stick. Another man was “Challenger’s” guardian angel that day. He stopped the stick-wielding human from doing bodily harm to the eagle. This had been the third time Challenger had sought out people looking for food when he became hungry, so he was placed under the care of the American Eagle Foundation for educational purposes by federal and state fish & wildlife agencies.

The stick-wielding human was probably a lowlife Cowboys fan.

Anyway, Eagles are cool as shit.

Here are some photos from Sunday:

  1. BenE. - Sep 17, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    I like birds

  2. willh888 - Sep 17, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    I just wouldn’t name my endangered bird after an aircraft that exploded in mid air

    • 2sentz - Sep 17, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      Naa gotta take chances in life, named my cockatoo ‘Hindenburg’ just to see what would happen.

    • Gin - Mar 28, 2014 at 1:19 AM

      Sorry but I disagree… to see our National bird fly over our flag, just brings a positive feeling to a terrible disaster.

  3. jsdarkstar - Sep 17, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    The Eagle was really cool but I was looking forward to seeing the F-16′s do a fly over. No flyover was disappointing to say the least.

  4. KK - Sep 17, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    This was one of the neatest renditions of the ‘banner’ played by the ‘Doctor’ and with the bald eagle. Wow! I was there. Very, very nice. Well done Eagles!

  5. Hiccup - Sep 17, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Thanks for the background story on Challenger. I don’t know what I would do if an overgrown raptor came to me looking for food; I imagine it would be a scary scenario but beating it with a stick? Good thing for him he was stopped because killing an animal protected by the endangered species act can’t be a good thing and hopefully he was stopped from getting his eyes pecked out.

  6. Webuppp - Sep 17, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Thanks for sharing the video, I must be a sap, seeing that bird souring like that brought tears to stream down my face, after watching the game, so did the eagles defense. On another note, I wish they,d get rid of the chicken head, and dark green uniforms, and bring back the souring eagles, and Kelly green, I have thought chip
    would have thought kelly


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