Oxford Health’s newest recruit!
Oxford Health has a new recruit at the Warneford Hospital – a Harris Hawk named Missy
The five-year-old from NBC Environment is on a special mission to scare away pigeons from the site because of the wealth of health and safety risks the birds pose to patients and staff and the damage they cause to the Grade I listed buildings.
For 10 days Missy has been flying around demonstrating to pigeons that as a predator the area is not safe and a no-go area for roosting and nesting.
Although she weighs less than a bag of sugar and can reach speeds of 33mph, the pigeons can out-fly her at 80mph – so there is no chance to her catching them.
Last week she and her owner Dan Arnold visited the Warneford’s Highfield Unit – Oxford Health’s specialist inpatient services for young people aged 11 to 18 with acute mental health needs – and proved a big hit.
Dan shared interesting facts about Missy and explained her job alongside a few stories.
Mollie Tustian, leader of learning for Oxfordshire Hospital School said: “The staff and young people really appreciated the opportunity to meet Missy and Dan.
“Dan gave a very informative talk, which everyone enjoyed and was perfectly pitched for the science adaptation curriculum content. We greatly appreciated Dan taking his time to show us Missy and her skills in flight. It was a fantastic opportunity and the highlight of the morning.”
John Upham, who is Oxford Health’s sustainability manager, said: “The issue of nature to reduce the resident pigeons on the site has shown signs of success so far. It was a great experience for the patients to see the hawk close up and ask questions. We are really grateful to both Dan and Missy.”
Published: 26 November 2019