London Train Station Recruits Hawk to Stop Pigeons Stealing People’s Food

“She does a great job and often likes to reward herself with a relaxing bath in the puddles.”
Photo via National Rail. 

You’re at the station with 40 minutes to spare until your train. In other words: now is the time to buy double the amount of food you can physically consume. There are the low-tier food options: Boots, WH Smith, Costa Coffee; or if you’re feeling fancy, the higher tier: Pret a Manger, Marks & Spencer, Beigel Factor, and Wasabi. The station is your oyster, so you begin the search for seven snacks, two sandwiches, dessert, coffee, water, backup dessert, juice, and gum. As you pull out sandwich number one, bringing the cheese and pickle hungrily to your lips, a pigeon—from the heavens—has the absolute balls to come and try and nip at your food. You did not spend 18 minutes staring at the Cafe Nero pastry selection for this!!!


But fear not, because train managers at a major station in London have sussed out a solution to the food-stealing birds.

Waterloo train station in Central London has recruited a hawk to scare away pigeons that try to steal commuters’ food. According to ITV News, Aria the hawk will patrol the station two days a week for two hours at a time, after travellers complained of pigeons nabbing their snacks.

Aria, raised in St. Albans, has previously worked deterring pigeons at King's Cross Station.

In a press release, Jason Murphy, Waterloo’s area manager, 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. She’s a very hard worker and we’re delighted to have her as part of the station team here at Waterloo.”

In the same press release, Aria’s handler, Max Bell, said the bird was apparently hyped to be working for free as a security-personnel-cum-cleaner.

“Aria really enjoys the environment at Waterloo and is delighted to be here,” said Bell. “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.”

We stan the holy protector of train sandwiches, Aria. Fly safe, lil birdy.