Bird Man Of Alcatraz

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Post  FinchG on Sun May 22, 2011 10:16 am

I watched the Bird Man Of Alcatraz again today and noticed how all his canary's and sparrows lived in a dark damp cell and the thing that really got my attention was that Robert Shroud (the birdman of Alcatraz) Smoked cigarettes the whole time he had birds. If smoking is as bad as everyone says, how did those birds survive all those years in those conditions?
Plus I know years ago everyone smoked, I probably know what the response will be.....
"the birds didn't live as long back then".

I just thought it was interesting and wanted to post it, by the way his birds that did die was from a disease that he experimented on to find a cure (see below).

Over the course of Stroud's thirty years of imprisonment at Leavenworth, he developed a keen interest in canaries, after finding an injured bird in the recreation yard. Stroud was initially allowed to breed birds and maintain a lab inside two adjoining segregation cells, since it was felt that this activity would provide for productive use of his time. As a result of this privilege, Stoud was able to author two books on canaries and their diseases, having raised nearly 300 birds in his cells, carefully studying their habits and physiology, and he even developed and marketed medicines for various bird ailments. Although it is widely debated whether the remedies he developed were effective, Stroud was able to make scientific observations that would later benefit research on the canary species. However, after several years of Stroud's informal research, prison officials discovered that some of the equipment he had requested was actually being used to construct a still to make an alcoholic brew.
During the spring of 1927, one of Roberts worst fears became a realization. While he tended to his birds, he noticed that some of them appeared sickly. Over the course of several weeks, the sickly birds began to die from a mysterious illness that he believed was a form of a septic fever. The disease began to kill his beloved birds.

Gaddis stated that Robert frantically began experimenting with various solution mixtures containing oxidized salts buffered by effervescing acids in an attempt to develop a cure. In less than two days he came up with a solution that seemed to kill the disease, without serious harm to the birds. Robert conducted experiments on the germ cultures, with the help of the prison lab and observed that there were three forms of the disease that ravaged his birds. It was the first discovery of its kind.

Roberts discoveries and bird cure led to recognition in one of the most prestigious bird magazines of the time known as the Roller Canary Journal, as well as other periodicals. During the late 1920s, Robert gained national recognition for his informative and breakthrough articles. Throughout the years he continued to send all recent information and discoveries he made to journals in an effort to save birds throughout the country.

Lots Of Societies, 11 Gouldians, 4 Orange Cheek Waxbills, 2 Orange Weavers, 3 Spice Finches,1 Quaker, 1 Conure and 2 Lineolated Parakeets


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