Above: An eagle perched on a pedestrian barrier beside his handler at the entrance to Liverpool Street Station.
It is not every day that you walk into a large railway station and find an eagle staring you in the face. For Liverpool Street Station, pigeons are a nuisance. They fly into the entrances and, once there, they treat the building as a place to perch – particularly on the many girders supporting the glass roof. Driving the birds away is not an easy task. Catching them brings its own problems so, the management of the railway terminus employ the services of a falconer who either brings a falcon or an eagle to solve the problem.
This process goes on all over London. In Trafalgar Square, there is a similar problem with pigeons and a falconer is also employed there on a regular basis as a deterrent. At Liverpool Street Station, the falconer duly arrives in the morning and, using his bird of prey, the pigeons are hunted down.
This fine specimen of a bird had completed his work when the picture was taken. He is perched on a pedestrian barrier at the high entrance to the station which leads from Liverpool Street itself. Apparently, after the eagle has completed his work, he is given a shower and then he is fed. He was looking straight into the camera and, much to everyone’s relief, he was on a tether held by his handler. While the bird looks rather tame, perched on the barrier, his handler said that he could not be treated as a pet and that he took very careful looking after.