Paddington hawk gets passengers all a flutter

The hawk was spotted at Paddington warding off the pigeons (Picture: Twitter/@robdavidson)

The hawk was spotted at Paddington warding off the pigeons (Picture: Twitter/@robdavidson)

Archant

Passengers at Paddington Station are tweeting even more than usual after they spotted a hawk prowling the station.

(Picture: Twitter)(Picture: Twitter)

Social media was all aflutter when the bird-of-prey was spotted, and while people hurried to work she was already on the job, scaring off pests.

A National Rail spokesperson said: “She does a very good job of putting pigeons off. I’ve seen the same beast floating about King’s Cross.”

The sight ruffled the feathers of twitter user @Gpavey: “A man definitely just walked through Paddington with an eagle?!? Surely that’s not allowed??.”

In fact, the bird is a Harris hawk, a bird with a wingspan of up to 47 inches that hunts small birds and animals.

Several pictures of the Paddington hawk were posted online by bemused passengers (Picture: Instagram/harveygallagher)Several pictures of the Paddington hawk were posted online by bemused passengers (Picture: Instagram/harveygallagher)

However, pigeon-fanciers can rest easy that they won’t be witnessing a rush-hour bloodbath. The hawks do not fly inside the station, but just ride on their handler’s glove.

The handlers make sure that they are well-fed so that they don’t get the urge to hunt.

National Rail added: “We try to go for humane methods if at all possible.

“The hawk’s presence scares them off. They’re there not to kill, but to scare them. Only in extreme circumstances would we kill a pigeon.”

(Picture: Twitter)(Picture: Twitter)

He added: “Although pigeons are lovely birds, they are a menace because their droppings are unhygienic.”

And clearly not all birds have been scared off, as one Twitter user showed with a picture of a pigeon getting onto a Tube at Paddington.

A spokesperson for the firm which provides the bird of prey, Birds Of A Feather, said the Harris hawks have been visiting the station three times a week over the last year, and said they will be stepping up their prescence in March ‘as it’s nesting season’.

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

More from Around the web

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
[Photograph from Youtube]

A naked man was rescued from a Florida drawbridge by firefighters with a rope harness.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
(Chris Collis / SWNS)

These incredible pictures show an historic ranch bigger than Greater London which is set to become the world’s most expensive estate after being put on the market for $460 MILLION.

Monday, May 11, 2015
[Photograph from Wikimedia Commons]

A woman who got lost as she ran a race survived a bitterly cold night in a New Zealand forest by drinking her own breast milk.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
The man takes a tumble

This poor pub punter took a bit of a tumble in a scene remarkably similar (and as funny as) to the famous episode of Only Fools and Horses when Del Boy falls through the bar while talking to Trigger.

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Watch this wee pup's confusion when he hiccups for the first time! [Photo by Matthew Kennelly]

Warning! This little guy might just take your breathe away.

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Ricky Gervais as David Brent in The Office

When Leicester manager Nigel Pearson bizarrely berated a journalist after last night’s clash against Chelsea, it was only a matter of time before the memes started.

Don't Miss...

Competitions

You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more
Time to experience the dizzy heights of London's tallest attraction!

Morgan Pryce, commercial property experts based in London are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Shard viewing platform in the city itself.

Read more
Cheers!

We’re giving you the chance to win six cases of this fab Bradshaw Chardonnay.

Read more

What is this?

Near You Now