With a wingspan of three feet and a menacing beak, Sol has an important job at SoFi Stadium.
To limit the number of nuisance birds.
“She’s a predator. They’re prey,” says Jorge Herrera, SoFi Stadium’s official falconer.
Sol is a female Harris’s hawk who is part of an eco-friendly program that was set up before the Inglewood stadium opened in 2020. When she swoops in, other birds scatter.
“They see a threat coming right at them,” Herrera says.
Seagulls, ducks, pigeons and geese often find easy snacks at the stadium when thousands of fans gather for NFL games, other sporting events, or concerts. With these nuisance birds come heaps of droppings and shredded trash.
Sol’s job is to simply be herself. She doesn’t typically harm the other birds but, to them, the threat is real.
“There could be birds on the ledge, as soon as they see me pull up, they leave, because they know who we are,” says Herrera.
Getting birds to leave SoFi Stadium isn’t just for cleanliness. Sol’s job also has an important safety role.
“We’re right in the flight path of LAX inbound flights, so we want to prevent large migrating birds coming through the area. It’s called bird strike hazard,” says Herrera.
For her work, Sol earns a piece of raw meat, keeping her and sports fans happy, and air travelers safe.