Lot #292
Robert Stroud

The 'Birdman of Alcatraz' writes on breeding canaries
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Estimate: $200+


The 'Birdman of Alcatraz' writes on breeding canaries

Notorious criminal (1890-1963) who, while imprisoned, became a self-educated authority on birds and earned the nickname 'The Birdman of Alcatraz.' ALS signed “Bob, Robert Stroud #594,” one page both sides, 8 x 10.5, September 3, 1952. Letter written from Alcatraz, with great bird content. In part: "I do not agree about the experimenting, since that is the only way one knows anything. I have seen doctors who were afraid of the antibiotics but they were fools. I have had most of them used on me. Knowing Osman's tendency is what prompted me to offer him those books and the microscope. I do not know why some birds are affected with those overgrown beaks and some are not. It is probably lack of ability to absorb certain vitamins—but I do not know why it should be so. It is my opinion, as stated in my book, that there is a connection of a tendency towards linkage between the genes for block color, for red pigment and for buff feathers. I think that the best results will be obtained by using self green buff canaries for foundation stock and double buffing for the first three or four generations, I would discard variegated and stick to the dark selfs. The idea is to get away from yellow color. As long as you have yellow color, the best you can get is an orange, no matter how deep, it is still orange. Yes, I remember your mention of the old man, whom you said raised such good birds, and who agreed with my breeding theories. Tell Osman to try my Cream O' Wheat idea next season, both for conditioning his birds and feeding young. It will save work, cut expenses and produce more birds." In fine condition.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #600 - Ended January 13, 2021

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