There are some animals attending Giants games at AT&T Park as of late, and for once, I’m not talking about the fans. Between the sealions, seagulls and pigeons, the stadium can become a regular zoo. Now, add to the menagerie a red-tail hawk fans have dubbed “Bruce Lee”. Unlike his other feathered brethren, Bruce has been welcomed as a member of the team. This is because like many other raptors (or “birds of prey”), he likes to dine on the mess-making pigeons and seagulls that like to deposit guano on spectators and steal ballpark snacks. The gull problems, especially during their annoying ninth inning food raids, became such a problem before Bruce’s appearance last year that the team considered seeking the services of a falconer to control the pests.
Bruce arrived last November, establishing a perch above the third-base area of the stadium. Ever since, he could frequently be seen in the skies above, performing aerial martial arts with his intended meals. Generally, when he is in the area, other birds are nowhere to be seen, preferring to stay out of the talons of this top predator. Bruce’s schedule is somewhat less consistent than the team would like, as he disappears for several days at a time after visiting. The stadium now has a box built in one of his favorite spots in an effort to entice him to stay and build a nest. Being a young red-tail at less than a year old, he may not be mature enough yet to settle down and build a more permanent home. Due to the lack of trees around AT&T Park, it might be difficult for him to find a place to establish an abode when he is old enough in about a year. Citing the nesting pair of red-tails at the Giants’ previous home at Candlestick Park, the team is hopeful that lights and noise will not become a deterrent.
Next time you attend a Giants game in search of the most unrivaled examples of agility, athleticism, and coordination, lift your gaze away from the diamond and up towards one of the team’s most valuable players.