Rufus the Hawk
|Rufus the Hawk|
|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", Rufus has been scaring away the birds for five years, taking over from the previous hawk, Hamish.
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. Pigeons are particularly attracted to the roof of the centre court. He has also been employed to scare pigeons away from Westminster Abbey, various hospitals, airfields, and landfill sites.
On 28 June 2012 Rufus was stolen from the back of his owner's car while it was parked on a private drive. He would usually be driven back to his home in Corby, Northamptonshire, but his owner had chosen to stay in London. 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". 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. Rufus usually wears a radio transmitter by which he could have been tracked, but it is removed from him at night. In June 2013 it was reported that Rufus was scared by people in hoods and that he had been chased off by crows.
Rufus has accounts on Twitter and Facebook and his own Wimbledon security photocard pass with the job title of "Bird Scarer". He is popular amongst Wimbledon fans who often ask to have their photograph taken with him.
- Edworthy, Sarah (28 June 2013). "Rufus The Hawk Unruffled A Year After His Kidnap Ordeal". Wimbledon.com. IBM Corp. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- "Rufus the hawk back on Wimbledon pigeon patrol". BBC News. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- "Rufus the hawk back at work". BT. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- 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.
- "Wimbledon 2013: Rufus the hawk scared by hoodies at All England Club". Metro. Associated Newspapers Limited. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2013.
- "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.
- Goldsmith, Belinda (24 June 2013). "Rufus the Hawk clears Wimbledon as record crowds queue up". Reuters. Retrieved 20 August 2013.