Shock as Hackney school bird display turns into Hitchcock thriller The Birds

20:42 29 March 2012

Paul with Frank the falcon

Paul with Frank the falcon

Archant

A bird of prey display at a Hackney Wick school turned into a scene from nightmare Hitchcock thriller The Birds last week, when a swarm of crows mobbed a falcon, forcing it to go on the run for over five hours.

A bird of prey display at a Hackney Wick school turned into a scene from nightmare Hitchcock thriller The Birds last week, when a swarm of crows mobbed a falcon, forcing it to go on the run for over five hours.

Around 240 youngsters from Kingsmead Primary were enjoying the show put on by fancier Paul Vanvynck from Bird Talk in the fields behind the school, backing onto Hackney Wick.

That is until Mr Vancynck released his Lanner Falcon.

A lot of crows suddenly became territorial, and ganged up on the bird, known as Frank.

“It was a bit sinister, there were lots of crows circling aggressively in the sky, and it got very loud with a high screeching sound,” said school head, Liza Hooper.

“Some of the teachers were saying it was like the film The Birds.

“The falcon just took off. We thought it was part of the display and he was coming back, the trainer was trying to tempt him back with some meat, but he just disappeared.

“The trainer got his tracker device out and started to look quite worried, and that was kind of the end of the show.”

The children, many of whom were concerned for the bird’s welfare, filed back to their classes while a panicked Mr Vanvynck swiftly packed up his remaining birds.

He then began a mad chase around London, desperately trying to track down Frank before too much distance came between them.

“A bird can travel miles in no time at all and if it gets too far away you lose all signal and you can lose them for good,” explained Mr Vanvynck.

“Frank is worth £400, but I’ve had him for a year and you do get very attached to them.

“To be honest it’s part and parcel of falconing it does happen from time to time,” he added.

The chase lasted five and a half hours, and the children were delighted to hear the next day Frank was finally caught in Edmonton at 8pm.

Lanner Falcons have a wingspan of around a metre and originate from north Africa, but Mr Vancynck brought Frank from a friend who breeds them in Poland.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Sainsbury’s in-house 50pChallenge is great fun for Twitter comedians.

Read more

Luke Evans has said the worst part of getting fit is having to give up alcohol.

Read more

Paul Thomas Anderson creates the world of a Thomas Pynchon novel.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

Advanced running and training technology for beginners up to elite athletes

If you’re thinking of adding running treadmill to your fitness routine, you’re on the right track! There are several advantages to running on a treadmill versus running outdoors.

Sainsbury’s in-house 50pChallenge is great fun for Twitter comedians.

Premier Inn rolls out a new flagship high-tech hotel.

A dog’s condition has to be pretty extreme to shock Battersea, but they say Whisper is one of their worst cases ever.

There’s nothing funny about a lack of toilet paper.

TOP Stories

08:45
Do you recognise this man?

This CCTV footage shows the terrifying moments during a robbery at an internet cafe and money exchange in Tottenham High Road.

18 minutes ago
Part of the proposed new Bakerloo Line extension from Elephant & Castle to Hayes (Picture: TfL)

Plans have been released for a £3billion extension of the Bakerloo line from Elephant & Castle through south London station to Lewisham and possibly Hayes and Beckenham.

55 minutes ago
Chriss Dodd questioned the supermarket whether the poster should be in full view of the customers

Sainsbury’s was forced to apologise after a motivational poster urging staff to squeeze an extra 50p from every customer was mistakenly put in the window of its Stratford store for customers to see.

London Bloggers

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.