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No. 106: Jul-Aug 1996

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Facing Up To Divebombers

When spring arrives Down Under, the black-backed magpies divebomb everything that moves in the vicinity of their nests. No one is spared: kids, cats, politicians, and even ornithologists are fair targets. But the solution is simple:

"The National Parks and Wildlife Service reminds blitzkrieged Aussies that the birds are less likely to attack if they believe they are being watched. So the chic and the sensible don hats with sunglasses propped on top -- facing backwards, of course."

(Anonymous; New Scientist, p. 84, February 24, 1996)

Comment. The same solution has been adopted by Indians who work in tiger country. They wear human face masks on the backs of their heads. Tigers don't like to be watched either.

From Science Frontiers #106, JUL-AUG 1996. 1996-2000 William R. Corliss