It’s not a person’s nickname; It’s a bird indeed a hawk; The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club has employed Rufus, a Hawk to scare the pigeons from its playing arena. The management recruited Rufus around 15 years back as its official bird scarer and the bird holds a great track record in scaring pigeons all these years. In fact, Rufus has his own Wimbledon security photo ID card with ‘Bird Scarer” as his designation.
Hawks were employed by the All England Club from the year 2000 to check the pigeon menace on the playing courts and surrounding areas (spectator’s area, rooftops etc.). Rufus took the mantle from his predecessor, Hamish. As a daily routine, Rufus patrols the 42-acre grounds all over the year with day-to-day visits during the Wimbledon championships. Rufus has a huge fan following with fan accounts on social media platforms Twitter and Facebook and also features in BBC Radio’s interview presented by Nick Grimshaw.
On June 2012, a huge uproar was created with Rufus being stolen from its owner. The extensive media coverage and attention led to Rufus labeled the “World’s Most Notable Bird” and “Britain’s Best-known birds” . The bird was found three days later in a healthy condition with a minor wound (sore leg).