8 APRIL 2006, Page 26

The bombers of Oz

From Peter Smalley

Sir: Matthew Norman is wrong to doubt that Australian magpies pursue human beings (‘Blair really thinks he is the Wizard of Oz’, 1 April). In Australia, magpies are robustly aggressive creatures, and many children have been dive-bombed by Gymnorhina tibicen during the nesting season. Many — including myself — have had their scalps torn open by these fiercely territorial birds. While most of us are probably right to doubt Tony Blair’s word almost all of the time, on this subject at least he is speaking the stark, bloody truth.

Peter Smalley London SW3