As a rule the offensive capabilities of most British birds are severely limited. Although the Long Legged Tree Duck is capable of taking out whole armoured divisions with its bare feet, and the Horn-Billed Swallow is known to explode on contact, these birds are thankfully not present in this country in large numbers.
However, this does not mean that we can take for granted the threat posed by the bird population. All too often the harmless, slightly gormless exterior hides a maniacal, bloodthirsty killer; a feathered fiend who revels in death and destruction.
And if we don't act quickly this country could soon be brought to its knees by an unstoppable ornithological onslaught.
Stealing fish fingers
The first indications of an uprising came as early as 1972 when three Sparrowhawks were arrested by Staffordshire police on suspicion of stealing fish fingers from a local supermarket. Under intensive interrogation they admitted to being members of the outlawed Wildfowl Liberation Front.
Since this time more and more bird related incidents have come to light: the 1975 Manchester Swan muggings, the bird table riots of `78 and the early eighties Canary strikes, to name but three.
And as recently as last September the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset was taken hostage by a South American Bald Peregrine, which threatened to eat him unless twenty known bird activists were released from a high security aviary in Kent.
Advanced yogic techniques
All this, however, is merely the prelude to the invasion; a softening up technique to divert our attention from the main attack.
Thanks to the extensive use of prosthetics and advanced yogic techniques, MI6 agents have been able to infiltrate the birds' command structure, disguised as Cormorants, Seagulls and Sheep. Their information has proved invaluable, and we now know that several divisions of Chaffinches are already marshalling in the Highlands of Scotland.
When the attack finally does come it will be swift and merciless and in order that we might repel the assault it is essential for every man, woman and child to play their part.
In the interests of National Security the Ministry of Defence has prepared the following brief guide to the birdlife of the British Isles.
No 1 THE MARSH PIGEON
An inhabitant of the boggy regions of Wales and central England, the Marsh Pigeon lives on a diet of custard and dog shit. The bird's rich, deep brown feathers provide the Marsh Pigeon with near perfect camouflage, enabling it to secrete itself away in places like Post Offices and underneath horses, from where it can spy on its victims undetected.
No 2 THE FANTAILED PIG-THRUSH
So called because it has the body of a bird and the head of a pig, a combination which makes flight a practical impossibility. It can often be seen waddling along the ground in rural areas, pecking at animals and small children with its beak. It can be disabled quite easily with sharpened sticks.
No 3 THE COMMON BULLFINCH
The Bullfinch is a really nasty piece of work. It hides in bird boxes, waiting to pounce, and thinks nothing of putting out its victims' eyes or gashing their face. Usually they roam in packs, causing havoc and attacking people at random, so it is wise to be wary. However, a lone Bullfinch poses little threat as a sharp blow to the back of the neck can easily stun, or even kill.
No 4 THE GREAT BARRIER GULL
This enormous, vulture-like creature migrates from Australia every three years and arrives in Britain totally shagged out. It preys mainly on the old and infirm, though it will happily eat cheese if it's available as it puts up less of a struggle. Luckily the bird's lack of agility and poor hearing mean that it is comparatively easy to creep up on it from behind and twat it with a shovel.
No 5 THE SPECKLED HUMMINGBIRD
Don't be fooled by the harmless, almost fragile appearance of this tiny bird: when riled the Speckled Hummingbird can rip the heart out of a cow in ten seconds flat. In fact, the creature is nothing more than a be-feathered killing machine. The only sure way to put an end to its insane, satanic killing spree is to wait until nightfall and strangle it in its sleep.
No 6 THE SHEEP
The Sheep is a master of disguise, and a crafty and cunning adversary. Wearing a raincoat and hat, and with a false moustache or a pair of dark glasses, the Sheep can easily get within feet of its victim before the alarm is raised. By the time you've realised you're being stalked it is simply too late and the Sheep has already sunk its vicious fangs into your flesh and is drinking your blood.
Strictly speaking, the Sheep is not actually a bird, but we thought you ought to be warned about it anyway.
No 7 THE DEADLY RED BREASTED KILLER OSTRICH
Only one of these has ever been seen in captivity. The Ostrich's incredible nine foot wingspan conceals not only its razor sharp talons, but also two 9mm machine guns and four laser guided air to air missiles. ON NO ACCOUNT SHOULD ANY ATTEMPT BE MADE TO APPROACH THIS BIRD! In the unlikely event that you should ever spot a Deadly Red Breasted Killer Ostrich, inform the authorities immediately, then move house and forget everything that you've seen.
YOUR COUNTRY IS DEPENDING ON YOUR VIGILANCE
Watch out for unfamiliar blood stains around the bird table, discarded packets of bird seed on the front lawn, or huge mounds of stinking bird muck blocking up your back door. At the first sign of anything suspicious, telephone our special Bird Hotline and speak to that bloke from The Goodies, or inform the nearest policeman so that he can go and write it down in the big book they keep at the station.