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Are scarecrows away with the birds?

By Eddie McIlwaine

Are scarecrows out of style in these modern farming times? I only ask because, the other day, driving out of Antrim in the direction of Templepatrick, I spotted a lone wooden one being shaken by the breeze.

And, you know what? There were a couple of sparrows perched nonchalantly on its crown.

So, even the birds of the air have a little bit of contempt for the jolly old scarecrow.

Officially, just for the record, a scarecrow is a decoy, or mannequin, often in the shape of a human, dressed in old clothes and placed in open fields to keep birds away from crops.

Of course, there is another kind of scarecrow altogether - like the monster with that Scarecrow name who has appeared in several films as the enemy of Batman. One of them was a Dr Jonathan Crane, a psychiatrist at an asylum, who conducted experiments on inmates and used an identity known as The Scarecrow.

He was portrayed in director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy by Co Cork-born actor Cillian Murphy (left).

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