Meet Rufus, the hawk who keeps pigeons away from Wimbledon

As the sports world maintains its focus on Wimbledon this weekend, Wayne Davis has a secret weapon to keep spectators free of pesky pigeons. Rufus, a hawk, is given free reign at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club each morning to scare off winged intruders.

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Sports

July 8, 2022 - 2:10 PM

Wayne Davis strolls with Rufus around an outer court at the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club. Photo by (Sam Farmer/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

WIMBLEDON, England — The emerald grass courts were  glistening with dew Monday morning as Rufus the hawk made a big circle, then — like a fighter jet descending on an aircraft carrier — swooped down for a perfect landing on the gloved hand of Wayne Davis.

The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club wouldn’t be open to spectators for a couple of hours, and  the Wimbledon ball boys and girls were helping prepare the courts for a day of matches. Those in the flight path of Rufus flinched and ducked as he soared in. Others reached for their phones to capture the moment or maybe grab a selfie before Davis transported the now-tethered hawk to another area of the club.

The transfixed young workers clustered around him like pigeons. And as for the actual pigeons?

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