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

Judy Murray said it is difficult for her to let Anton Du Beke take control on the Strictly dancefloor.

Read more

Full investigation launched as officers describe the incident as ‘suspicious’.

Read more

Sue Perkins has laughed off complaints about her saucy presenting style on The Great British Bake Off.

Read more

TOP Stories

13 minutes ago
Two people have died at Slough station after being hit by a train.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Two people have died after they were hit by a train at Slough station at around 10am.

An IED (Improvised Explosive Device) is detonated in Baghdad in 2007.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command today raided an address in northwest London.

Enfield Council say people have been training dogs to fight in the new children's playground (Picture: PA Images/Dominic Lipinski)

A children’s playground is being ‘repeatedly wrecked’ by owners of fighting dogs training their animals by making them hang off equipment by their jaws.

Promotions

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.

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the ZOE was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

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.

Quizzes

(Photo by Ben Horton/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds Hollywood)

If there’s one thing that can change Londoners from nice, normal people into superhumans capable of extreme levels of rage and passive aggression, it’s the descent below-ground.

Read more
Do you fancy yourself as a football ground know-it-all? Try our devilishly difficult quiz!

How well do you know your football stadiums? This brand new quiz from London24 will seperate the men from the boys...

Read more
Do you know your Thames truths from the porkie pies? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

So, you live (or work) in London, and you think you know the river well.

Read more