Passing through the basement floor at Stachus these days you might not be sure if you can trust your eyes, as Hillary the Harris Hawk is likely to cross your path.
What could seem to be a free bird show to make Christmas Shopping all the more exciting (or nerve-wrecking) is in fact an attempt to chase pigeons out of the shopping arcade. For the next two months the specially trained bird of prey is supposed to teach them the lesson: stay away, your enemy is waiting for you!
The center management has chosen this unusual measurement as other methods like hawk cries from speakers or ultrasound have failed their purpose. Hillary and her coach GÃ¼nther Rau have proven their efficiency once before in the Hofstatt Shopping Arcades which is now free from pigeons.
According to Stachus center manager Inge Vogt there is no real pigeon problem yet but it could soon develop if measures are not taken in time. Especially during winter season the birds are looking for a warm place where food is easily available. Their excrement is a hygienic and health risk and many of the 300.000 people passing through the station daily are annoyed by them flying around their heads.
Thanks to her intense training Hillary is a threat to the pigeons only. Spotting her prey, she chases it across the passage to the next exit - if need be using the legs of passers by for cover.