Animals Video

By Josh Saunders

Real life ‘Angry Birds’ have been captured divebombing and attacking tourists in hilarious slow-motion footage.

Far from their ‘cute and cuddly’ pretence, these birds appear to be more like the feathered fighters that appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film The Birds.

The amusing scenes, which were taken on the Farne Islands, three miles off the Northumberland coast, show the arctic terns defending their nests.

The visitors who were crossing through the flock’s nesting grounds felt the wrath of the territorial terns who divebombed and pecked with their ‘needle sharp’ beaks.

Gary Lawson, 47, from Ripon, North Yorkshire, filmed them at the popular bird-lovers site and believes it shows the naturally aggressive birds in their wild habitat.

The father-of-two captured the encounters in two second bursts of slow-motion footage, which reveal hilarious reactions of unsuspecting visitors when they are attacked.


Gary, a videographer, said: “Dependent on what stage the bird is at, either sitting on their eggs or rearing young chicks they will defend their nests by attacking you.

“Once you start getting into the nesting grounds the terns start shouting with their clicking calls, then they start to get up into the sky.

“Then when they are hovered above you, they dive down and strike.

“They have incredibly sharp beaks and when they tap your head it’s quite a painful experience.

“Terns are tiny and weigh only a couple of ounces but the force of them dropping onto you and their needle-like beak can draw blood.

“People are so shocked when it happens but due to it being painful you get some fantastic reactions that never cease to amaze me.

“I’ve heard people complaining when the birds strike them, as if the wardens can do anything about it.

“If you go to the islands you have to bring a thick hat, if you don’t then you’re going to get pummelled.”


Gary says his favourite part was watching the majestic way the birds curve their wings before striking.

He said: “The island is synonymous for the birds attacking you yet surprisingly people are shocked when it happens.

“I like watching how incredibly fast the terns are, in the footage you can actually see how they place their wings before diving and striking you.

“They are very quick, incredibly agile flyers and it’s just fascinating watching the way their feathers and tail-feathers curve.

The Farne are the most famous sea bird sanctuary in the British Isles drawing in puffins, razor bills, gannets, arctic terns and more.


Gary took his son Ollie, 13, to witness the birds nesting on the Islands – visitors are allowed to explore for a maximum of three hours in order to ensure the habitat isn’t overly disrupted.

He said: “At that time of year, you get a massive influx of birds coming there to nest it’s a well-known phenomenon.

“You are only allowed on the island for three hours, so you are not disturbing the birds too much.

“I’ve been to the islands four times now and was told by wardens that it doesn’t disturb the terns as they are quite aggressive and so it’s a natural pattern for them.”