Rufus the Hawk

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Rufus the Hawk
Rufus-hawk-wimbledon.jpg
Species Harris Hawk
Sex Male
Occupation Bird Scarer
Known for Scaring birds away from the Wimbledon Championships

Rufus the Hawk is a Harris Hawk used by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club to keep pigeons away from their venue. Described as an "important member of the Wimbledon family",[1] Rufus has been scaring away the birds for five years,[2] taking over from the previous hawk, Hamish.[3]

The All England Club employ Rufus to patrol their 42 acre grounds throughout the year, with daily visits during the two weeks of The Championships and the 2012 Summer Olympics.[3][4] Pigeons are particularly attracted to the roof of the centre court.[3] He has also been employed to scare pigeons away from Westminster Abbey, various hospitals, airfields, and landfill sites.[3][4]

On 28 June 2012 Rufus was stolen from the back of his owner's car while it was parked on a private drive.[1][5] He would usually be driven back to his home in Corby, Northamptonshire, but his owner had chosen to stay in London.[6] The theft caused a "global outcry" with significant coverage in the media leading to Rufus being named "the world's most notable bird" and "one of Britain's best-known birds".[4][7] He was found three days later on Wimbledon Common and handed into the RSPCA. The bird was healthy with the only injury being a slightly sore leg.[1][5] Rufus usually wears a radio transmitter by which he could have been tracked, but it is removed from him at night.[4] In June 2013 it was reported that Rufus was scared by people in hoods and that he had been chased off by crows.[5]

Rufus has accounts on Twitter and Facebook and his own Wimbledon security photocard pass with the job title of "Bird Scarer".[1] He is popular amongst Wimbledon fans who often ask to have their photograph taken with him.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Edworthy, Sarah (28 June 2013). "Rufus The Hawk Unruffled A Year After His Kidnap Ordeal". Wimbledon.com. IBM Corp. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Rufus the hawk back on Wimbledon pigeon patrol". BBC News. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Rufus the hawk back at work". BT. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Bryony Gordon (2 July 2012). "Rufus the hawk: Quails, baths and me-time – meet Wimbledon’s biggest diva". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "Wimbledon 2013: Rufus the hawk scared by hoodies at All England Club". Metro. Associated Newspapers Limited. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Stolen Wimbledon hawk Rufus is found safe and is back with owners after being handed in at local RSPCA". Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers Limited. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Goldsmith, Belinda (24 June 2013). "Rufus the Hawk clears Wimbledon as record crowds queue up". Reuters. Retrieved 20 August 2013.