The idea for this famous story came to her one day when she was walking across to Menabilly Barton farm from the house. She saw a farmer busily ploughing a field whilst above him the seagull s were diving and wheeling. She developed the idea about the birds becoming hostile and attacking him.
In her story, the birds become hostile after a harsh winter with little food, first the seagull s, then birds of prey and finally even small birds, all turn against mankind.
The nightmarish idea appealed to Hitchcock who turned it into the celebrated film. Daphne disliked the film and particularly disliked the translation of the setting from Cornwall, with its small fields and stone hedges, to small-town America.