The courts and grounds at Wimbledon will be a bit cleaner this year, thanks to the presence of Rufus, a trained Harris's hawk, that will be on patrol to keep local pigeons in check. According to Express.co.uk, the hawk - working with his trainer, Wayne Davis - has patrolled during the previous three tournaments, with good results. The hawk is trained to soar over the grounds to intimidate pigeons, encouraging them to leave. The bird patrols from 6 a.m. each morning until an hour before play begins, and again after the last match ends each evening. The constant reminders alert pigeons to the predator's presence, and they will seek their own territory elsewhere.
Using trained birds of prey for pigeon control is becoming a more accepted tactic in many unusual locations, including metro stations in Warsaw and many different agricultural areas where birds can damage crops. Rock pigeons are often a nuisance in urban areas, and other techniques to control them include retrofitting buildings to remove nesting areas or even attempting pigeon birth control.
Learn more about just how rock pigeons have managed to conquer the world - despite the odds - in Superdove!
Photo © Jöshua Barnett