The BMO Field Guardian
The term "eyes like a hawk" has taken on a whole new meaning at BMO Field. Perched high above the west side sits Toronto FC's guardian - Bitchy the hawk (as named by the fans). Enlisted to stand guard on match days, Bitchy is trained to protect the BMO Field faithful from, of all things ... seagulls!
The proximity to Lake Ontario and all the fine food at BMO Field makes the stadium a haven for gulls. The pesky birds have caused quite the nuisance for players, fans and of course the clean up staff.
Enter parabuteo unicinctus, or as she is more commonly known - Bitchy the Harris Hawk. This bird of prey has a 1.2 metre wingspan and strikes fear in the eyes of seagulls (as well as rabbits, rodents, lizards and possibly visiting teams). She will be watching over the club at all TFC home games.
In TFC's first year the hawk was brought in to keep the seagulls away. She was welcomed by the fans as they participated in a “Name the Hawk” promotion. Bitchy was her name before she came to us, and the fans heartily endorsed keeping that name. In 2012, the club adopted her as the symbolic overseer of BMO Field, and she has been immortalized in its new Academy logo. This year she has become part of the opening ceremony. Prior to each game there will be a short video and cue, then this magnificent bird will arrive through the players' tunnel at BMO Field.