Hawk Soars in Swampscott Market

The raptor flew into Whole Foods Market on Saturday afternoon, circled on high before perching on a store rafter.


Look up.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's ... supermarket hawk.

A hawk swooped into Whole Foods Market on Saturday afternoon about 2 p.m., winging through the open front doors.

Shoppers pointed above as the raptor, believed to be a Cooper's hawk, circled the store, said Whole Foods manager Eric Piper.

Cooper's are medium-sized hawks, the males typically weighing about 12 oz. and females 20 oz. in the Eastern Region. They range from 14- to 20-inches long with a wingspan from 2-3 feet and have long tails, red eyes and small bills, according to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

The Whole Foods ceiling, at its highest point, is about 50 feet from the floor, the manger said. Eventually, the hawk lighted on a perch among the rafters out of view, he said at about 3:30 p.m.

A local animal control officer responded to the store and was assisting, he said.

As of midnight, Swampscott's animal control officer, Diane Treadwell, was waiting to hear from the night crew for news of whether the bird had come down.

The hawk was still in the rafters, she said.

Earlier, the manager said sparrows, on occasion, fly in the store.

They typically wind up by the exit where he takes them in hand and releases them out the door.

But a hawk in the store, this was a first.

And not a bird he would want to handle, at least not without heavy gloves.

The animal control officer said the raptor looked like a Cooper's hawk, he said.

Cooper's have a broad range, extending from southern Canada to northern Mexico. They like to beat their wings and glide and survey the landscape, the online encyclopedia says.

This Whole Foods bird of prey was quiet and unperturbed as it investigated the Paradise Road store.

We will keep you updated on the hawk's progress.

Nancy Gilberg January 05, 2013 at 09:37 PM
Would love to hear an update on this story. Did the owl exit the store unharmed?


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