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Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 01/24/2011

Hawk still stalks Library of Congress

By Elizabeth Flock
(Courtesy Abby Brack/Library of Congress)

UPDATE: 12:45 p.m.

The American Eagle Foundation voiced concerns today that the hawk would soon die if it had not been fed over the past five days. Al Cecere, founder and president of the foundation, says the bird is not likely to have been well-fed before entering the library due to the cold and snowy weather.

But good news! The rescue team late last night found a trap (filled with bait) the bird was attracted to, although the cagey bird took just enough of the bait and avoided capture. On the Library of Congress blog, Matt Raymond wrote today: "The hawk is now fed and will most likely not be ready to eat again until Tuesday. The team now believes that the hawk has a predilection for frozen quail and not live bait."


ORIGINAL POST: 10:58 p.m.

The Cooper's Hawk that took shelter in the Library of Congress Wednesday night has rebuffed all bird experts' advances to get it down, a representative of the Library of Congress said today.

Specialists from the Raptor Conservancy of Northern Virginia placed baited cages up in the Main Reading Room's dome, where the bird is circling, and strung a net on the bottom of the opening of the dome so that the hawk can't swoop down and disturb researchers.

As a secondary measure, they also pulled a mesh tightly across the opening to the dome (which they call the “lantern”) so that she cannot descend into the Main Reading Room, and this would also catch her in the event that she were to fall.

Since its arrival, the hawk has so captured the public's attention that the membership office of the library was packed this Saturday.

The Main Reading Room staff have affectionately dubbed the hawk “Shirley,” after the Library of Congress blogger Matt Raymond made an "Airplane" reference to readers who doubted the bird's presence.

Our own contest to name the hawk came up with a plethora of clever monikers for the bird. The winning name so far? "Jefferson," because of Thomas Jefferson's contributions to the library.

@Washingtonpost #namethehawk Thomas Jefferson. Least they could do after paying him far less for his library than it was worthless than a minute ago via txt

A few of our commenters thought the bird's nom de plume should honor other architects of great libraries. Commenter "RobertMuskett" suggested the name "Demetrius Phalereus," because he was the "true founder of the Great Library in Ancient Alexandria."

Commenter "janmckelvey" suggested the name "Casey," after Thomas Lincoln Casey and his son Edward Pierce Casey, "who were the engineering/architect/interior design team responsible for completing the wonderful Thomas Jefferson Building."

Our commenter "AnneMiles1" suggested "Barry" in honor of the famous political "hawk" Barry Goldwater, and "poppopk" suggested "Deficit Hawk."

Until library officials can have the bird removed, our contest for what to call the hawk is ongoing. Tweet your suggestions to #namethehawk or leave them in the comments field below.

@washingtonpost #namethehawk It's a girl! Call her Jane Air or Scarlet O'Aira!less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

@ma1ja @librarianchat Stephen Hawking! STEPHEN HAWKING!!!! #namethehawkless than a minute ago via web

By Elizabeth Flock  | January 24, 2011; 12:45 PM ET
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