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FEATURE


Carbon monoxide poisoning is another common cause of death in birds. This is by no means a new subject, but it is one that is worth resurrecting from time to time to remind people of the dangers.


e should all be aware by now of the health hazards to our pet birds of passive smoking, and articles on this subject have been published in this and other bird-related magazines. Carbon monoxide poisoning is another common cause of death in birds. This is by no means a new subject, but it is one that is worth resurrecting from time to time to remind people of the dangers. Sixty or seventy years ago almost every adult smoked cigarettes or pipes as a matter of course: it was accepted as the norm, and no health problems were imagined. However, long before that time, it was well recognised that birds were ultra-sensitive to the presence of noxious gases in the atmosphere. This fact was utilised in the employment of canaries down coal- mines, as sentinels to detect methane and carbon monoxide. These gases are potentially poisonous to humans, but long before they built up in concentrations sufficient to damage miners, the canaries would breathe in small amounts and rapidly die. Thus the mine-workers would hopefully


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