Animals
Suicidal Birds
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JATINGA is a small village in Assam. One moonless night in 1905 some of the villagers were searching for a lost buffalo when suddenly birds of various species began to drop down on them.
The birds seemed to be attracted by the lighted torches the men were carrying.
On landing, the birds appeared to be dazed and made no attempt to escape capture.
The villagers were the first to witness the strange behaviour of the birds of Jatinga. But not the last. Birds continue to fly down suicidally there on some moonless and foggy nights in the months of September - October, wherever lights are showing.
Scientists who have studied the phenomenon say the birds become hypnotised on landing and that is why they make no attempt to escape.

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The birds refuse all food offered to them and die (sometimes after several days) without coming out of the hypnotic state.
Curiously, three species of birds seem immune to the strange, unexplained madness that seizes the other birds. The three are the sparrow, the common myna and the red-vented bulbul.



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