Osprey Captain Duncan Jones with the Millennium Stadium's resident hawk Dad
Osprey Captain Duncan Jones with the Millennium Stadium's resident hawk Dad
Millennium Stadium hawk takes a break
22 March 2007, 4:12 pm
By Pete Griffin
The Millennium Stadium's resident hawk, called Dad, is flying his nest to make way for some sharks, tigers and ospreys this weekend when the EDF Energy Cup semi-finals kick-off at the exceptional venue this Saturday (March 24th) at 2.30pm.
The bird of prey normally stays at the Millennium Stadium to scare any passing seagulls and pigeons from the hallowed turf, but Dad is leaving home for the weekend when thousands of rugby fans turn up to watch a day of top flight rugby, with two EDF Energy Cup semi-final matches.

Dad's keepers felt the noise from the anticipated vocal crowd in the venue would be too much for the bird, who often stays in a room within the stadium when he's not at work.

After years of keeping smaller birds from inside the stadium Dad is used to moving out when the fans move in.

His keeper Phillipa said: "Dad is a very hard worker during the week and due to the big crowds that come in for events he tends to take the weekends off.

"He's a full time resident here at the Stadium and essential for keeping seagulls and any other birds out of the ground and especially off the grass."

Hawks have been used to deter other birds from landing within the grounds for eight years, to prevent soiling on the pitch and seating areas and ensuring none nest within the venue.

Ospreys prop Duncan Jones took the opportunity to introduce himself to the bird of prey on a recent visit to the Stadium and both Osprey and hawk seemed to get on superbly.

Cardiff Blues will take on the Ospreys in an all-Welsh semi-final, whilst Leicester Tigers and Sale Sharks meet in an all-English semi-final, with all four teams slugging it out for a place in the 2007 final.

Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks: 2.30pm
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys: 5.15pm

For ticket information log on to www.millenniumstadium.com or call into the Millennium Stadium ticket Shop, 98 St Mary Street on Thursday and Friday (9.00am-5.00pm), Saturday (10.00am-5.30pm), or Gate 3 marquee on matchday from 10.00am-5.30pm.

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