A hawk eats a pigeon in San Francisco's Tenderloin on Monday, March 4, 2019. (Joshua Sabatini/S.F. Examiner)

Hungry hawk stops traffic in the Tenderloin

A red-tailed hawk brought traffic to a halt Monday morning when it stopped to eat a pigeon in the middle of a busy street in the Tenderloin.

The bird made its kill on Larkin Street near Ellis Street, drawing a handful of residents who took photos.

The incident also drew a response from an Animal Care and Control officer, who blocked traffic to allow the bird to eat. Eventually the officer exited the vehicle and shooed the bird to the sidewalk, where it finished up some last bites before flying off.

Deb Campbell, a spokesperson for Animal Care and Control, said “our officer responded and blocked traffic so the hawk could finish its breakfast” after a 10:06 a.m. call from someone worried it might get hit by oncoming cars.

Campbell said the department does receive a lot of calls about birds of prey, but the hawk’s choice of location for its meal seemed unusual. She said it was somehow able to tune out its surroundings while it ate, and flew off about an hour after the officer responded.

“All’s well that ends well,” Campbell said.

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