Challenger is a non-releasable Bald Eagle in the care of the non-profit American Eagle Foundation. He is the first Bald Eagle in history trained to free fly into major sporting events during the National Anthem.
In a storm in 1989, Challenger was blown from his nest as an eaglet and hand raised by humans. During this time, he experienced too much human contact and was "imprinted". He believes he is a human and is unable to survive in the wild. Two unsuccessful release attempts resulted in Challenger almost dying and eventually being handed over to the Federal authorities. They gave Challenger to the American Eagle Foundation for care and educational programs. Challenger is named in honor of the space shuttle crew, who were killed when it disintegrated shortly after launch.
Challenger has been an ambassador for his species since 1993. He has raised a great level of public awareness for the habitat destruction of the Bald Eagle. Since he is so widely recognized, Challenger is noted as a large factor in the Bald Eagle being taken off the Endangered Species List.
- MLB World Series - 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003
- NFL Pro Bowl - 2002, 2003, 2004
- Fiesta Bowl - 1999, 2013
- Men's Final Four - 2005
- BCS National Championship - 2011
- Atlanta Braves
- Auburn University
- Boston College Eagles
- Chicago Cubs
- San Francisco Giants
- Green Bay Packers
- Buffalo Bills
- Florida Marlins
- Indianapolis Colts
- Texas Rangers
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Minnesota Vikings
- New York Yankees
- Oklahoma State University
- Detroit Lions
- Tennessee Titans
- University of Tennessee
- Florida State University
- Louisiana State University
- Carson-Newman University
- Georgia Southern University
- 1996 Paralympics
- Disney's Animal Kingdom Grand Opening
- World War II Memorial groundbreaking ceremony
- White House ceremonies
- High Point University Graduation Ceremonies
- Ceremony delisting the Bald Eagle as an endangered species
- 2007 Texas vs. Oklahoma State football game
- We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, January 18, 2009
- October 2, 2010, Boston College vs. Notre Dame Football Game
- May 19, 2014, Boston College Commencement ceremony
- Moore, Roger (November 3, 2007). "How much can one football fanbase take?". Stillwater-newspress.com (Stillwater News Press). Retrieved 2007-11-03.
- "Defense Department Helps Eagle Soar Off Endangered List". Defenselink.mil (United States of America). June 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-14.