WHAT do birds know about football?

No it’s not a sexist rhetorical question but a genuine thought we put to the test as we pitted Margaret the turkey against famous World Cup pundit Paul the octopus.

Paul the octopus reached worldwide fame after his German aquarium used him as a spoting oracle to predict who would win games at the 2010 World Cup including correctly guessing all of Germany’s results as well as the final.

Margaret, who lives at Walton Hall Children’s Zoo, was given the chance to select who she thinks will top the group stages of the top footballing competition.

But what is her footballing pedigree?

Liz Rowlands, ranger at the zoo, said: “She’s a bit let down that Turkey didn’t manage to reach the last 32 teams but hopefully it won’t cloud her judgement.”

And when it came down to the picks after a bit of gentle coxing with some croissant Margaret soon got into the swing of things.

So who did she fancy?

Turkey by name, maybe turkey by nature judging by the four-year-old’s top picks.

She went for Croatia over Brazil in Group A, Australia to win out over World Cup holders Spain and Holland and Japan to beat the Ivory Coast.

Margaret also showed her links to her ancestors by choosing USA over Germany and Portugal.
Her stronger draws included France, Argentina and Russia.

But a few people may be sharpening the knives for the bird after she snubbed England and instead plumped for Uruguay to win their group.

“She’s trying to find a mate at the minute so maybe she needs to brush up on her footballing knowledge to find the male turkey of her dreams,” added Liz.

So what do the experts make of Margaret’s psychic sense?

Betfred spokesman Mark Pearson said: “Margaret has certainly ruffled a few feathers with her selections by not picking Brazil, Spain or Germany to win their respective groups. The combined odds of group selections is a massive 708,260/1.”