Live mascots are a favorite of fans all over the SEC. Auburn’s golden eagle, Nova, is a sight to be seen as he flies around Jordan-Hare Stadium before landing at midfield just before kickoff.
According to Auburn’s web site, Nova is titled War Eagle VII, and he replaced a female named Tiger. Nova was born in 1999 at the Montgomery Zoo and arrived at Auburn in 2000. Nova weighs nine pounds and has talons that are 2 inches in length. As for his favorite food, Nova prefers a tasty rodent!
Nova is carried in his cage up the ramp above the first deck of the stadium. If you are in the visitor’s section, look above your right shoulder to see Nova take off. Nova will fly around the stadium once, twice if you are lucky, and land at midfield. While in flight the Auburn faithful will waves their orange and blue poms poms in a circular fashion, and as Nova lands the Tiger fan will shout “War Eagle!” The raw video below gives you a glimpse into the tradition.
The video is good, but does not do the tradition justice. Nova flying around the field is surreal. I will never forget the first time I saw the golden eagle’s flight, and it is the highlight of every trip I make to an Auburn football game. Next time you get a chance to go to Jordan-Hare for a game, make sure you get to your seats 20 minutes before kickoff to see on the finest SEC traditions.