“Challenger” is his name (in honor of the lost space shuttle crew). He is cared for by the non-profit American Eagle Foundation (AEF). He’s a ‘human-socialized’ bird raised by the people who rescued him after he’d been blown from a wild Louisiana nest in a storm as a baby in the late 1980’s. Declared “non-releasable”’ by federal and state wildlife authorities, he was trained by the AEF to perform educational free-flight demonstrations at high profile public events.
He’s the first Bald Eagle in U.S. History that learned to free-fly into stadiums, arenas and ballrooms during the singing and or playing of the “Star Spangled Banner.” The celebrity eagle has appeared at numerous major sporting events like the World Series, Pro-Bowl, All-Star game, BCS National Championship, Fiesta Bowl, Men’s Final Four, etc.
This eagle has also flown before four U.S. Presidents and his life story is told in a children’s storybook.