A new Fighting Falcon has joined the ranks. 

The United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs has a new falcon mascot, the school announced earlier this week.

The new falcon chick will become the school’s new mascot, taking over for the previous falcon, Aurora, who passed on in 2019. Aurora was the longest-serving live mascot the school has ever had.

A female gyrfalcon that hatched in May, the Academy is looking forward to many years of service with the new mascot. And in an unusual breaking of tradition, the Air Force Academy will allow cadets to choose the name for the falcon. Typically, the mascot is named by its falconer, however, the Academy is allowing cadets to submit suggestions and then vote on the name.

These birds perform publicly at outdoor venues and are often flown at live sporting events, a practice that started back in 1956. The falconry program is one of the extracurricular offerings for cadets, and new recruits are trained under the guidance seasoned upperclassmen falconers—usually consists of a team of 12.

Did you know there was such an involved program behind the Air Force Academy falcon mascots? What name would you like to see for the Academy's new falcon mascot? Sound off in the comments.