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

Yesterday, 18:17
The Shomrim Patrol member found this chilling graffiti in Upper Clapton [Photo by @ShomrimOfficial]

Police are investigating after two swastikas were found daubed on a wall in Hackney.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:07
Is this the ugliest new building in Britain, never mind London? [Photo by George Rex under a Creative Commons license]

You might have heard of the Stirling Prize for beautiful buildings – now get ready for the Carbuncle Cup, honouring the ugliest new building of the year!

Read more
Yesterday, 16:59
Julie Sillitoe

A taxi driver crushed to death by falling masonry only went out to work in “horrendous” weather to pay for her beloved husband’s birthday present.

Read more

TOP Stories

Yesterday, 18:17
The Shomrim Patrol member found this chilling graffiti in Upper Clapton [Photo by @ShomrimOfficial]

Police are investigating after two swastikas were found daubed on a wall in Hackney.

Yesterday, 17:07
Is this the ugliest new building in Britain, never mind London? [Photo by George Rex under a Creative Commons license]

You might have heard of the Stirling Prize for beautiful buildings – now get ready for the Carbuncle Cup, honouring the ugliest new building of the year!

Yesterday, 16:59
Julie Sillitoe

A taxi driver crushed to death by falling masonry only went out to work in “horrendous” weather to pay for her beloved husband’s birthday present.

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.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London Bloggers

Yesterday, 17:16
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.

Friday, August 22, 2014
It turns out painting is the perfect thing to do in bars

I’m somewhat of a casual, lazy and very much amateur painter and after a busy day at work, the prospect of getting all my brushes, acrylics, water and other faff out is far from appealing.

Quizzes

Amy Winehouse's second album became a classic

Are you an Amy Winehouse superfan?

Read more
I'm only going to say this once: Stand. On. The. Right.

James Bond is Britain’s most famous secret agent, and the capital is its most famous city, so it makes sense that 007 would live and work here when he isn’t gallivanting around the world.

Read more
Can you find the animals hiding in London station names? (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

You may not realise it but there are animals hiding in stations across London? Play our quiz and see if you can you find them:

Read more