Hawk crashes through coffee shop window

A hawk crashes through a coffeehouse window in Providence, Rhode Island. (Source: WJAR/EMILY SULLIVAN/CNN)
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 9:05 AM EST
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR/Gray News) - It was chaos inside of a Rhode Island coffeehouse Wednesday afternoon.

A hawk came crashing through the window, causing a frightening scene.

Coffee shops are typically laid-back places to read, complete work and enjoy coffee, but the Coffee Exchange in Providence was anything but that Wednesday afternoon.

“This is the first time in 40 years that we’ve had a hawk come into the building,” said Charles Fishbein, owner of the Coffee Exchange.

Chaos erupted in the coffee house as a hawk flew through a window, which has since been repaired.

“It spilled coffee everywhere, glass everywhere. His talons were on the on the woman’s leg, and the bird looked somewhat like it was disoriented. It wasn’t moving. So they, they were able to get talons off, and there was a little bit of blood, nothing, nothing serious,” Fishbein said.

A witness took photos showing two employees who raced over to help the patron who found herself leg to face with a hawk.

One of those employees was Alison Dillon, who has only been on the job for a month.

“I wasn’t picturing it to be such a large bird,” she said. “So I was expecting it to have like died and not been, you know, a good situation. But fortunately the bird was in OK shape. As far as what I had seen, the bird’s beak was in OK condition. Its wings were fine.”

Fishbein said the disoriented hawk was taken outside wrapped up in the jacket of the woman onto which it had latched.

Eventually, it would make its way into a tree and then, hours later, fly off.

Dillon, who handled the bird outside, said it’s a conversation starter, but she said she hopes people take away an important lesson from this crazy moment.

“Be a doer, you know, and taking action when you see that there’s something or someone in need,” she said.

And as for the bird who caused all of this commotion, it will find itself in the coffee house’s 40th anniversary history book when they celebrate this new year’s, compiled of stories from patrons and former employees over the decades.

“I’m sure that the hawk is going to be, maybe not front and center, but it’s going to be a part of that history,” Fishbein said.