Anorak News | Reach For The Sky

Reach For The Sky

by | 25th, November 2004

‘IS it a bird? Is it a plane? Oeer, look out! Yep, it was a flying rat.

A bird in the hand is worth a poo on the head

Oh, come on, don’t get all outraged about pigeons and tell us that they have feelings too.

Pigeons are the scourge of the entire world, and as soon as our Government can link them to acts of terrorism, the sooner we can stage the final battle between man and winged vermin.

But before we arm the nuclear warheads, the Telegraph would like us to know that nuisance pigeons can be deterred from bothering us by way of magnets.

A joint project by scientists at the universities of North Carolina, USA, and Auckland, New Zealand, suggests that a pigeon’s ability to find its way home depends on tiny particles of iron-rich magnetite in its upper beak.

The birds move in response to the magnetic field. So, it follows that interrupting that by means of giant magnets could keep them at bay.

Of course, had the Germans had such a giant magnet all those moons ago, the war might have turned out different.

The Independent looks at a new £1m memorial in London to mark the contribution made by animals in wartime, and sees Mary.

Mary joined the National Pigeon Service in 1940 and flew many missions for her country. She was wounded three times in action and carried 22 stitches to prove it.

Part of one wing was shot off and she had three pellets removed from an injured shoulder.

For her gallantry, Mary, who survived aerial bombardment from hawks trying to bring her down but continued to serve with distinction, was in 1945 awarded the Dickin Medal.

She died in 1950 and was buried with full military honours in the graveyard for military serving animals in Chingford, London.

She was a great pigeon, and when you see her name commemorated in stone, you can look to the skies above London and imagine Mary swooping this way and that as she avoided capture and instant death.

But don’t stand still for too long, not unless you’ve got a giant magnet protecting your face, coat, hair and shoes…’

Posted: 25th, November 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink