Harris hawk employed to keep pigeons away at London Waterloo
Fewer pigeons in the station will improve customer experience, reduce mess in surrounding areas and decrease cleaning costs.
Britain’s busiest railway station – London Waterloo – has welcomed a new recruit to assist in keeping pigeons out of the station: Aria the Harris hawk.
The five-year-old bird of prey will be on duty with her handler, Max Bell, for two-hour shifts twice a week, scaring away pigeons from the station’s Victorian rafters.
She will also be patrolling the skies above sandwich bars and coffee shops on the station concourse.
Jason Murphy, Waterloo Area Manager for Network Rail, 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.
“Aria’s work is really important in making the station a better place for our passengers, while saving us money on our cleaning bills. She’s a very hard worker and we’re delighted to have her as part of the station team here at Waterloo.”
Max Bell, Aria’s handler, said: “Aria really enjoys the environment at Waterloo and is delighted to be here. 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.”
Though her species hail from the Americas, Aria was raised in St Albans and has worked across the River Thames at King’s Cross station and the Treasury.