St Albans hawk bags job at London Waterloo

PUBLISHED: 16:50 14 November 2018

Aria the Harris Hawk at London Waterloo. Picture: Network Rail

Aria the Harris Hawk at London Waterloo. Picture: Network Rail


A St Albans bird-of-prey has bagged employment at a busy London train station.

Five-year-old Aria the Harris Hawk will now be on duty for two hours, twice a week scaring away pigeons from the rafters at London Waterloo.

She was raised in St Albans and can boast a similar post at King’s Cross during her high-flying career.

Network Rail Waterloo area manager Jason Murphy said: “Pigeons can be a real nuisance for people using the station. They also cause a lot of mess which needs cleaning up at some expense. So Aria’s work is really important in making the station a better place for our passengers, while saving us money on our cleaning bills.”

Aria’s handler Max Bell added: “She does a great job and often likes to reward herself with a relaxing bath in the puddles that gather on the rain shelters over the platforms.”

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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