It is an early start for Rufus and his handler, Imogen Davis.
Each morning at 5:00a.m. they would commence patrolling the Wimbledon tennis courts.
Rufus performs a very important job. He is looking for any pigeons that might have wandered into the site.
He makes sure that all the tennis courts at the All England Club stay pest free. Rufus scares the pigeons away, thus preventing them not only from eating the grass at the courts but becoming a nuisance to the tennis players during crucial matches.
Pigeons are not a natural prey for hawks so they won’t be attacked but rather scared off as the hawk circles and flies around the courts.
Hawking was first introduced to Wimbledon in 1999 as an environmentally conscious method of pest control.
Rufus The Real Wimbledon Hero
Rufus is let loose to fly around each morning and evening of the championships, before and after the play of course, otherwise it would be too distracting to see the majestic flight of the hawk during the game.
This is the fifth tour of duty at Wimbledon for Rufus, an American Harris hawk. At the close of the play Harris can be seen flying and having fun in Brigstock, in Northamptonshire.