This Bird Man

You have all heard of the Bird Man from Albatross, where this prison inmate befriends pigeons while serving a life sentence on the Rock known as Albatross. All week I had no idea what to write out as my subject for my blog for you my loyal readers to enjoy.

Then my wife got a voice message detailing about one subject that had been discussed some time ago and then this “Oh by the way,” came from out of the blue, telling us of an incident that occurred Monday about “Bird Man,” and how sad it was and that this person was going to pray for him.

We all knew who Bird Man was, he ran a pet store that specialized in exotic birds, some of which were rescue. I went online and found the article about how Bird Man had basically lost his mind and ranted about killing an employee.

I told my wife that he went off the deep end and was arrested for threatening the life of an employee, was charged and appeared in court the next day.

“That don’t sound like him,” she stated with disbelief. I agreed. He always appeared an extremely sensitive, abet high strung man in his late 60s, who gently raised parrots, cockatoos, and many smaller birds, plus offered boarding services, nutritious dietary foods and seed for sale and trimming services. It was unlikely we were talking about the same person as was reported in the news.

My wife in the meantime texted a friend and former employee. What I am about to state is hearsay and by no means do I even claim any factual basis in this. After all I’m hearing my wife read a text message from someone with a subjective opinion in this.

The person replied to my wife’s query about Bird Man stated that it all started when he got a little too aggressive toward a cockatoo, which I have seen him do. It’s him throwing his arms wildly in the air and getting the bird to react as if it were being attacked. The reaction is usually the bird’s crown rising straight up in its head and raising its wings as a means of appearing bigger.

The owner of the bird asked him to stop, that it had aggression issues. Bird Man apparently laughed it off then scooped the bird about in the air several times until the bird attacked Bird Man’s hand, biting it so hard it drew blood. According to this person, Bird Man released the bird while still in mid somersault and without the benefit of flight landed hard on the floor where it apparently died.

The bird’s owner took the bird to a vet, who determined it died from extreme trauma and shock. It got a little bit fuzzy as to what happened next but apparently the bird’s owner confronted Bird Man and the girl employee immediately quit. She apparently saw the whole thing and was understandably upset.

Again, according to this girl my wife texted, he went ballistic on the employee and this bird owner. Somehow someone called the police, the street the pet store was located, closed and SWAT was called in.

Bird Man is in a world of trouble. My wife thinks he’ll lose his business. I think he took too many of his medications that are prescribed to him to deal with a variety of ailments he has. It goes back to my own experiences with seniors and being so over medicated they suffer adverse, negative reactions that causes them to act contrary to how a normal person might act.

The person my wife texted wrote her that Bird Man had a darker side to him, a side that only the employees knew about but kept to themselves. She didn’t elaborate and neither will I. Suffice to say, it’s a sad and tragic episode. I hope he gets the help he needs and can live out a quiet existence. That’s all anyone deserves.

Published by Jerry Schellhammer

Jerry, a published author of both published and self-published books, is devoting his time and efforts to his craft after having retired from the previous job as a janitor at Northern Quest Resort and Casino. He now calls Gooding, Idaho his home. Writing is his passion and he now has a successfully published book and another on the way to being published later this year. He has a BA in English with emphasis in professional writing from Washington State University. His website: is available for everyone to see. In it are the lists of published books available both through Amazon and Barnes & Noble in eBook and print format.

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