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Posted at 11:34 AM ET, 01/21/2011

Hawk in Library of Congress

By Elizabeth Flock
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(Photo by Abby Brack-Courtesy of Library of Congress)

What appears to be a Cooper's Hawk has taken shelter inside the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress.

First spotted Wednesday night, the bird of prey may have flown in through a broken window at the top of the Main Reading Room's 160-foot high dome, and it hasn't yet found its way out.

Reference librarians have furiously been looking through the library's collection of books on birds, including "Sibley’s Guide to North American birds," to identify the bird and find a way to lure it down.

They've also been consulting their community of fans on the web. When asked how the library knows the bird is a Cooper's Hawk, a Library of Congress representative says, "We’ve been getting a lot of comments on our Facebook page and blog from people who seem to know what they are talking about."

Screen grab from the Library of Congress blog:

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"We've had birds fly in here before, but I don't think we've ever had a predator," the Library of Congress representative said. "We have to lure the bird out, but the problem the Cooper's Hawk likes their food to be on the hoof. I'm not sure we will release live pigeon or mouse in here."

The Fish and Wildlife Services will likely be tasked with getting the hawk out, though many area falconers have also offered their services.

The Library of Congress will keep their Facebook fans posted as things progress:

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(Screen grab from the Library of Congress Facebook page)

In the meantime, the suggestions for ways to capture and identify the bird keep rolling in:

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(Screen grab from the Library of Congress blog)

By Elizabeth Flock  | January 21, 2011; 11:34 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Elizabeth Flock  
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Comments

shoot it.

Posted by: rpcv84 | January 21, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Best story ever!!

Posted by: Juli-uh | January 21, 2011 12:00 PM | Report abuse

The culture vultures are waiting to scavenge the remains of its next kill.

Posted by: WmarkW | January 21, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Where is Lady Gaga and her meat dress at when you need her?

Posted by: cubs-n-colts-n-07 | January 21, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

How long has the window been broken?

Posted by: jckdoors | January 21, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone heard the screech these birds make? Good luck shushing that, librarians.

Posted by: carlaclaws | January 21, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Leave him alone. He is hunting for knowledge. Show him where the encyclopedias are. PAC

Posted by: pcalpar | January 21, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Leave him alone. He is hunting for knowledge. Show him where the encyclopedias are. PAC

Posted by: pcalpar | January 21, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Better cover up those rare editions ...

Posted by: blackforestcherry | January 21, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

release a live mouse? please, i'm sure there are plenty running around in the stacks. the hawk is cleaning house for you.

Posted by: peanut47 | January 21, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

peanut47, you have a great sense of humor. But not so much to the nit that suggested shooting it. Charming, dude. Or dud.

Posted by: JustSaying1945 | January 21, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

So far, no one's blamed this on Obama or illegal aliens. I'm stunned.

Posted by: StevenDolley | January 21, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Shut the front door. Your name is not "Flock". Is it?

Posted by: info_stuporhighway | January 21, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe he had some research to do . . .

Posted by: 7900rmc | January 21, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

How did a window get broke at the Library Of Congress? And why is it not fixed when the realized that it was broke?

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | January 21, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

A hawk in the LOC?

Play it "Imagine", "Blowin' in the Wind", and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone."

Those will turn it into a dove and then they can catch it more easily.

Posted by: RickyGibson | January 21, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Have you tried,,telling the Hawk,,to "Follow the Mafia Members,Directly To Jail?"Just kidding

Posted by: catwoman125mom | January 21, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

I say,,leave him there,,,and give hime a Microphone,,,,he'll do better,,,then most in Congress!!

Posted by: catwoman125mom | January 21, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I say,,leave him there,,,and give him a Microphone,,,,he'll do better,,,then most in Congress!!

Posted by: catwoman125mom | January 21, 2011 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, WaPo, for assigning this story to someone named Flock.

Posted by: dkp01 | January 21, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Someone call Billy the Exterminator...

Posted by: jahjah248 | January 21, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

cooper's hawk, learned something this morning. seems like a great way to clean up a city (naturally) that has been overrun with pigeons. just need to let a small family of cooper's hawks free in cities with large uncontrolled populations of pigeons. that could be a pretty good small business opportunity, a national or even international "green" pest-control company.

Posted by: FranknErnest | January 22, 2011 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Things may not be so bad afterall
Lawrence Ferlinghetti in DEADEYE DICK

This is the best news since swine flu

Diabetes culprit
found in DC

-
silence dogooders

ying and yang

concentration of orange juice

Posted by: kadija1 | January 22, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

So far, no one's blamed this on Palin or the Tea Party. I'm stunned.

Posted by: asdf2 | January 22, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

So far, no one's blamed this on Palin or the Tea Party. I'm stunned.

Posted by: asdf2 | January 22, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

STOP GOING TO BED ALONE!

Stop making excuses and fill that empty spot in your bed with a warm body .

There are plenty of nice people like your self that are bored, tired , scared , and frustrated with the whole dating scene.

This is a simple to use website designed for complicated people that cuts through all the dating bs and gets to the root of the matter . You just have to take a little bit of action to get results. Follow the instructions and you will be happy with the results

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Posted by: trishgellar | January 22, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Obviously a liberal bird.

No right-winger has enough IQ to make use of a library. That is, unless, there's a comic book section.

Posted by: kjclark1963 | January 22, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, KJ, for bringing some much-needed civility to the discussion.

Posted by: asdf2 | January 22, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Story of the week. The hawk is probably a better American than those teabaggers in congress.

Posted by: truth1 | January 22, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Yet more civility! And challenging of patriotism to boot!

Posted by: asdf2 | January 23, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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