Rufus the Harris hawk is held by handler Imogen Davies as she is interviewed by the media at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 5, 2017 on the third day of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships.
Rufus the Hawk is used at the All England Club to keep pigeons away from the venue.  / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE        (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Rufus the Harris hawk is held by handler Imogen Davies as she is interviewed by the media at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 5, 2017 on the third day of the 2017 Wimbledon Championships. Rufus the Hawk is used at the All England Club to keep pigeons away from the venue. / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:34
Rufus the Hawk rules roost at Wimbledon
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 21: Novak Djokovic of Serbia holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup as he celebrates victory in his Men's Singles Final match against Daniil Medvedev of Russia  during day 14 of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 21, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 21: Novak Djokovic of Serbia holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup as he celebrates victory in his Men's Singles Final match against Daniil Medvedev of Russia during day 14 of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 21, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:44
Novak Djokovic is the no. 1 of number ones
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 14: Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei celebrates victory in her Women's Singles fourth round match against Marketa Vondrousova of Czech Republic during day seven of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 14, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Matt King/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 14: Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei celebrates victory in her Women's Singles fourth round match against Marketa Vondrousova of Czech Republic during day seven of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 14, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:20
Hsieh Su-Wei: Taiwanese tennis star reflects on memorable Australian Open
Serena Williams w/ daughter Olympia
@SerenaWilliams
Serena Williams w/ daughter Olympia
Now playing
00:43
Tennis legend's daughter joins her on the court
Spectators walk into Melbourne Park ahead of the first round matches at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Andy Brownbill/AP
Spectators walk into Melbourne Park ahead of the first round matches at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Feb. 8, 2021.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Now playing
02:09
Australian Open: Amid pandemic, grand slam begins with 30,000 fans attending
Naomi Osaka, 22, wears a mask bearing the name of Tamir Rice as she walks on court for the final of the US Open on September 12, 2020.
Al Bello/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Naomi Osaka, 22, wears a mask bearing the name of Tamir Rice as she walks on court for the final of the US Open on September 12, 2020.
Now playing
02:49
Naomi Osaka on raising awareness for racial injustice with her masks
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 31: Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts during a practice session at Melbourne Park on January 31, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne Park is now out of lockdown mode following the end of the player and support staff quarantine period after arriving in Melbourne on International flights and they can resume a regular practice schedule ahead of lead in tournaments before the 2021 Australian Open. (Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)
Jack Thomas/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 31: Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts during a practice session at Melbourne Park on January 31, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne Park is now out of lockdown mode following the end of the player and support staff quarantine period after arriving in Melbourne on International flights and they can resume a regular practice schedule ahead of lead in tournaments before the 2021 Australian Open. (Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)
Now playing
04:06
Nick Kyrgios finds another reason to love tennis
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 05: General view on court 10 at Melbourne Park on February 05, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. All matches yesterday were cancelled due to the amount of players and staff that had to undergo Covid19 Tests and Isolation as a result of a Coronavirus community case announced on Wednesday night. Play resumes at Melbourne Park in the lead up to the 2021 Australian Open. (Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)
Jack Thomas/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 05: General view on court 10 at Melbourne Park on February 05, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. All matches yesterday were cancelled due to the amount of players and staff that had to undergo Covid19 Tests and Isolation as a result of a Coronavirus community case announced on Wednesday night. Play resumes at Melbourne Park in the lead up to the 2021 Australian Open. (Photo by Jack Thomas/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:12
Australian Open: With pandemic match-prep done, players are set for the grand slam
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 01:  Sofia Kenin of the United States poses with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after her Women's Singles Final match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain> on day thirteen of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 01: Sofia Kenin of the United States poses with the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after her Women's Singles Final match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain> on day thirteen of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:06
Sofia Kenin: 2020 Australian Open champion opens up
Now playing
14:25
Rafael Nadal calls for 'wider perspective' from players ahead of Australian Open
nick kyrgios covid-19 coronavirus australia us open abierto estadounidense tenis deportes cnne vo_00000024.jpg
nick kyrgios covid-19 coronavirus australia us open abierto estadounidense tenis deportes cnne vo_00000024.jpg
Now playing
03:08
Nick Kyrgios embraces role as moral voice on Covid-19
Vasek Pospisil of Canada hits a return against Richard Gasquet of France during the semi-final match of the ATP 250 Sofia Open tennis tournament in Sofia on November 13, 2020. (Photo by NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV / AFP) (Photo by NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP via Getty Images)
NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Vasek Pospisil of Canada hits a return against Richard Gasquet of France during the semi-final match of the ATP 250 Sofia Open tennis tournament in Sofia on November 13, 2020. (Photo by NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV / AFP) (Photo by NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
04:37
Australian Open: Vasek Pospisil on the hard quarantine for players
An unidentified tennis player exercises in her hotel room in Melbourne in January 17, 2021, where players are quarantining for two weeks ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament. (Photo by William WEST / AFP) (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
WILLIAM WEST/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
An unidentified tennis player exercises in her hotel room in Melbourne in January 17, 2021, where players are quarantining for two weeks ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament. (Photo by William WEST / AFP) (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
03:32
Australian Open: Controversy surrounds tournament as players complain of lack of practice
Michael Dodge/Getty Images AsiaPac/Getty Images
Now playing
05:30
Patrick Mouratoglou on Serena Williams, the men's game and the future of tennis
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 22:  Daniil Medvedev of Russia lifts the trophy after winning his singles final match against Dominic Thiem of Austria during day eight of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 Arena on November 22, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 22: Daniil Medvedev of Russia lifts the trophy after winning his singles final match against Dominic Thiem of Austria during day eight of the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals at The O2 Arena on November 22, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:08
Daniil Medvedev: ATP Finals champ reflects on biggest win of career
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 11: Iga Swiatek of Poland poses on the rooftop of les Galeries Lafayettes Rue de la Chaussee d'Antin with the Suzanne Lenglen Cup following her victory in the Women's Singles Final against Sofia Kenin of The United States of America on day fifteen of the 2020 French Open on October 11, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 11: Iga Swiatek of Poland poses on the rooftop of les Galeries Lafayettes Rue de la Chaussee d'Antin with the Suzanne Lenglen Cup following her victory in the Women's Singles Final against Sofia Kenin of The United States of America on day fifteen of the 2020 French Open on October 11, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:33
Iga Swiatek on winning 2020 French Open

Story highlights

Rufus the Hawk keeps Centre Court pigeon free

He is a cult figure at the grand slam tournament

(CNN) —  

Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Pete Sampras: Wimbledon’s historic Centre Court has been graced by the greatest champions in tennis.

But in recent years, one character has consistently ruled the roost – and he isn’t seen wearing tennis whites.

Rufus the Hawk is responsible for making sure the courts at the All England Championships remain free of pigeons which can interrupt play by pecking at grass seed.

“Rufus’s job is to be the chief pigeon scarer here at Wimbledon,” his handler Imogen Davis tells CNN.

“We’re here all year round, but we start at 5 a.m. every morning during the championships.”

READ: Venus Williams breaks Ostapenko’s streak

READ: From being paralyzed by shame to coaching Serena Williams

READ: Nadal upset by Muller at Wimbledon

Tournament officials used to be responsible for swatting birds away from pristine lawns. But after that proved ineffectual, other methods were sought out.

In 1999, Hamish the Hawk was brought to SW19, and several years later he was replaced by Rufus, a Harris’s hawk, who has been scouring the courts regularly for the past decade.

Andy Murray comes face-to-face with Rufus at Wimbledon back in 2014.
Al Bello/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Andy Murray comes face-to-face with Rufus at Wimbledon back in 2014.

It’s a job that has earned him attention from some of the tournament’s most famous faces.

“I feel like his agent,” jokes Davis. “He’s met Andy Murray, he’s met Nadal. We had a chat to Boris Becker the other day.

“We’re nearing 10,000 followers on Twitter. 10,000 for his 10th anniversary – I think that’s a good number.”

Visit cnn.com/tennis for more news and videos

01:32 - Source: CNN
The tradition of waiting: The Wimbledon Queue

One of his fans stands out more than most. Chris Fava arrived at this year’s Wimbledon dressed as Rufus, kitted out in yellow tights, a feather cape, and an old bomber hat closely resembling the one worn by the hawk.

But fame has also come at a cost. In 2012, Rufus was kidnapped from the back of a car and it took three days and a widespread social media campaign before he was safely returned to Davis.