Science: Bird Scotcher

They blasted the trees with birdshot. They used firehoses, thumped on dishpans and shot skyrockets. They tried a sound truck blaring terrifying shrieks. They rolled in big searchlights and dazzled the air. But in suburban Mount Vernon, N.Y., there was no getting rid of the starlings. By the thousands, the birds went on chattering loud enough to shout down whole neighborhoods of people, fouling the pavement below the shade trees.

Then last week a stranger came to town, Otto D. Standke by name, 5 ft. 7 in. tall, 71 years old, with hokum in his manner and magic in his bones. Starlings?...

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