Lincoln The White House Hawk Is On Twitter, And He Already Has This Whole Social Media Thing Down
Recently, a red-tailed hawk has made the White House grounds its home, and thanks to some fourth graders, it now has a name — Lincoln. And, in keeping with the Obama administration's social media game, the hawk has a Twitter account. You know, just in case you were wondering what it was like to be a hawk on the White House grounds (and aren't we all?).
Lincoln started hanging around the White House grounds last week, according to a blog by amateur birder and White House staffer Tamara Dickinson. Dickinson noted that not only is the bird sighting a testament to how birds of prey can adapt to urban life, but that there is a significant threat to their natural habitats.
But as we admire and appreciate the animals that have learned to live in our backyards, it’s important to remember that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for much of the world’s wildlife to adapt to the changes that humans are imposing on our shared planet. Consider, for example, the effects that climate change is having on birds. Rising average temperatures, more extreme weather events, and sea-level rise are all forcing bird populations out of their natural habitats and ranges. There’s also strong evidence that climate change induces behavioral changes in birds, altering migration and breeding patterns.
Just couldn't resist tying in global warming, huh?
Jim Cutting's fourth graders were picked to name the bird after they wrote a bill (yeah, what were you doing in fourth grade?) to try and name the red-tailed hawk the official state hawk of New Hampshire. The bill didn't pass — an early introduction to the elementary school kids that few bills ever do — but the White House recognized their efforts by asking them to name its new resident.
So, what was the rationale behind Lincoln, which was decided after a series of votes? The bird likes to hang around the East Wing, where the Lincoln bedroom is, it gives a nod to the 16th president, and it gave the kids' school a boost (Lincoln Akerman School).
Lincoln only has two tweets so far:
But that video kind of gives a terrifying preview to Lincoln. There's definitely a Wild West feel to the hawk, and I think I might be scared to walk around downtown D.C. with a tough ol' bird like that flying around. Let's hope the squirrel population keeps him at bay.
Images: Getty Images (1)