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Hawk Makes A Home At The Library Of Congress

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Hawk Makes A Home At The Library Of Congress

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Hawk Makes A Home At The Library Of Congress

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We don't know if the bird we're going to talk about now is angry, but it must be confused.

A Cooper's hawk somehow found its way into the Library of Congress. Since last Wednesday, it's been high up in the Main Reading Room, a spectacular vast space, with giant marble columns, arched windows and a beautiful domed ceiling 160 feet tall.

Tori Hill is the acting chief of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division, and she joins me from the Main Reading Room in the Library of Congress.

Ms. Hill, can you see the Cooper's hawk right now from where you are?

Ms. TORI HILL (Acting Chief, Humanities and Social Sciences Division, Library of Congress): I can see it. It's sitting on a pillar at the very top of the dome, in the lantern of the Main Reading Room.

BLOCK: Yeah. And I gather it's a female, so I'll call her a she. What's she doing?

Ms. HILL: She is just sitting on a perch, looking down at us. And then every so often, she takes a circle swoop around the mural of the figure of Human Understanding, looking down on us.

BLOCK: Well, how did she get in?

Ms. HILL: We're not exactly sure. The Library of Congress and the architect of the Capitol are still trying to determine the method of entry, so we can stop it.

BLOCK: Yeah. Well, in the meantime, she's been in there now in the Reading Room for almost a week. What has she been eating?

Ms. HILL: Well, she is - has been here since Wednesday afternoon when she was first sighted, and we think that she came not hungry, which made it more difficult for the people trying to capture her. She did also have something to eat on Sunday, so they are hoping that by tomorrow morning, she will be hungry enough to take the bait and be captured.

BLOCK: What did she eat on Sunday?

Ms. HILL: She ate frozen quail. Apparently, she has not been interested in any of the live bait that has been placed out. But when they put a frozen quail out, she apparently swooped down, grabbed the quail and made her escape back up to her perch.

BLOCK: So I'm assuming that the frozen quail was put out when the patrons were not in the Reading Room.

Ms. HILL: Actually, it was a Sunday, and so the Reading Room was closed, but the bait is not down in the Reading Room. The bird is not in the Reading Room. It stays up in the lantern.

BLOCK: Now, when you say the lantern, you're talking about the uppermost reaches of the Main Reading Room, up by the dome and the area around that.

Ms. HILL: Up at the very top of the dome with windows. If you could stand up there, you could see out over Washington.

BLOCK: Well, I'm sure it's a nice thing to have this Cooper's hawk in the Library of Congress, but you must be thinking about how to get her out. What's the plan for what you're going to do about her?

Ms. HILL: We have had a master bander from the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia. There will also be tomorrow U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. They will have a master falconer. They're going to try to lure the hawk again, probably using some more quail since she seem to really like the quail, and then capture it at the time that she goes for the quail bait.

BLOCK: Well, she's had quite an adventure. What's she doing right now?

Ms. HILL: Actually, I can't see her, but I know that she'll be back swooping at us.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BLOCK: Tori Hill, thanks very much for talking to us and good luck with everything.

Ms. HILL: Oh, she is swooping right now.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. HILL: And you're welcome.

BLOCK: Tori Hill is the acting chief of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division at the Library of Congress. We were talking about the female Cooper's hawk who somehow made it into the Main Reading Room there last Wednesday.

(Soundbite of music)

BLOCK: And I'm looking at photos of that hawk perching and soaring high up inside the Library of Congress. They're at

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