Toddler attacked over custard cream as red kites 'terrorise' Henley-on-Thames

·2-min read

A two-year old boy has been attacked by a red kite over a custard cream as hungry birds continue to terrorise an Oxfordshire town.

Frankie Bird was left with cuts to his hand that required bandaging in hospital after the bird of prey swooped to steal his biscuit in the usually harmonious Henley-on-Thames.

With other reports of kites snatching hot cross buns from people's hands and steaks from barbecues, residents are concerned the birds are taking over their waterside town.

Frankie's mother Hannah said the hospital staff who treated her toddler warned that injuries from birds are becoming more common.

Hannah Bird, 33, said her son was left "terrified" and badly scratched following the incident, which happened outside Valley Road Primary School on 10 May.

She told Sky News: "He kept pointing up at the sky and saying 'ouch'.

"My mother-in-law gave Frankie a snack - which was a custard cream - and a red kite came down and took it out of his hand, flinging it to the ground.

"The bird kept coming at Frankie to try and find the biscuit, not realising it was on the floor, which was quite scary, it just kept coming.

"We had to take him to the local hospital just to get it checked, because the birds eat all sorts, so we wondered whether we needed to get it cleaned properly."

Red kites were common in 17th century London where they were valued as scavengers, clearing the streets of food waste.

Having previously been almost hunted to extinction, there are now believed to be more than 10,000 red kites across Britain.

Hannah added that her son has made a full recovery and that she doesn't want red kites to get a bad reputation.

"It was quite a shock. Whenever I've spoken to people, I've heard more stories of it happening and especially people who live in this area," she said.

"You know, you need to be able to eat in your garden in peace and my son should be able to have a biscuit snack in his pushchair.

"I think part of me worries for the birds - if they're this brazen and they're not frightened anymore, they are not wild anymore. And what does that mean for them, really?"

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