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The Hammer Wielding Bird Lover

Wild birds need our assistance and protection but it never helps to resort to violence! Unfortunately, sometimes people can get a little overenthusiastic, not to mention deluded!

Recently, a somewhat misguided bird lover disrupted a Christmas boat race by blocking the river with his own boat and then waving a yellow hammer at participants!

The Cambridge Head Race

The Cambridge Head is an annual event on the River Cam organised by the City of Cambridge Rowing Club. Participants take to the water in festive fancy dress.

But this year the race was delayed by nearly an hour. The delay was the result of a protester taking to the water and he has been described as a serial offender by the race stewards. More than fifty competitors were left waiting in the cold at the start line as the man wielded his hammer and shouted at them. He claimed that he wanted to protect the swans and ducks on the river and that the boats would smash into them.

Illogical Actions

Some people have the craziest logic when it comes to protecting wildlife. In this case, a man has tried to reinforce his point by spreading bird seed along the river banks in order to encourage more swans and ducks to the area where the race was taking place. His actions did make it look like there were a lot of birds on the water. But if you really care about wild birds, why would you lure them to a potentially hazardous area?

Police Intervention

Cambridgeshire police were called at around midday having received reports that a man was blocking the river. They attended the scene, boarded the man’s boat, relieved him of his hammer and then arrested him on suspicion of assault.


After the man was removed from the scene the race got underway but the delay meant that one division had to be cancelled. 50 boats were sadly unable to participate in the event. The race marshals had tried to minimise the disruption by moving the man’s boat to the side of the river but he then threatened them with the hammer!

Police would not confirm the age or identity of the man who was arrested. He is clearly a few seeds short of a feeder and does not like to see people having a little festive fun. The Cambridge Head Race is not known for injuring birds. It is simply a seasonal event which many people look forward to and which would doubtless have passed off without incident hand it not been for the lunacy of one complete idiot.


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