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

X Factor boss Simon Cowell cringes with embarrassment after his shirt bursts apart, accidentally flashing his chest.

Read more

We give our verdicts on the outfits that graced the red carpet.

Read more

Is Downton Abbey just a soap opera hiding under all that pomposity?

Read more

TOP Stories

People have been out in force tying yellow ribbons to lamp posts to urge people to keep looking for Alice Gross (Picture by Carlene Bender)

The Metropolitan Police Service have said the hunt for missing schoolgirl Alice Gross is the biggest search they have mounted since the 7/7 terror attacks.

Staff at the Hackney Empire took this photograph of the flash floods.

Londoners experienced rush hour chaos on Friday night caused by unexpected storms.

Yesterday, 15:17
The teenagers were found guilty at the Old Bailey (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)

A boy has been found guilty of raping a teenager in a Willesden alleyway in punishment for spreading rumours about his sister.

Promotions

Imagine having your own idyllic house in the French countryside - and make it happen! [Photograph by Mike Simler]

Ever dreamed of living in a rural cottage in France with ivy round the door, chickens in your garden, and fresh croissants for breakfast from the local patisserie a short walk away in the nearby village?

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

Wed, 14:16
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