Rufus, a Harris hawk, was stolen with its cage between Thursday night and Friday morning from a car parked on a private driveway in the southwestern suburb of Wimbledon, said London's Metropolitan police.
The company that owns the hawk had left a rear window of the car open for ventilation, according to police.
The hawk, a family pet, flies above the tennis lawns every day, scaring away smaller birds such as pigeons that could distract the players and bother the audience.
Police said the family was “very distressed” about the theft of the four-and-half-year-old hawk, which is trained not to attack but circle the courts to scare off smaller birds.
Hawks have been used to clear the skies above Wimbledon during the tournament for about 12 years, as an environmentally friendly form of pest control.
Rufus would fly above the courts every morning and evening during the annual two-week tournament. He did not fly during matches because that could distract players.