Last week, the power in Olympia went out for 7 days. I stayed there to help with the birds.
It got cold, below 40 degrees Fahrenheit inside. I had a portable propane heater but we didn't want to use it around the birds. I put it in the bathroom along with a gas camping stove. The heater warmed up the bathroom quickly and I could go in there to warm up. Sometimes I brought the birds in too for a short while.
The birds were really good. They took the cold without complaint. During the day they sang, during the night they slept quietly. I would check on them, and they seemed fine. I think they liked having me there with them, talking to them, going through the ordeal with them.
We lit candles during the night so they had some light. Then we ran out of candles. Betty panic flew one night, hitting walls in the dark. I was bundled up in a sleeping bag but shone a flashlight around her and she calmed down.
We put "little hotties" hand warmers (chemical heat in pouches) under Beju and Blue's nest box to try to mitigate the loss of warmth from the heating pad we keep around their box.
Tyche can't fly anymore, but he ran around and climbed ladders to the shelf he sleeps on and the cage he spends the days on.
After a few days, Tracie took the most vulnerable birds to the Rec Center, which had power. I stayed with the other birds.
Then on the fifth day we put all the birds in cages and took them to spend the night in the Rec Center. At first there were other people there, so I sat in front of the cage with six cockatiels in it and talked to them and whistled with them. They were wonderful and kept pretty quiet. I enjoyed spending time communicating with them. I felt we formed a stronger bond during that time.
On the sixth day, we took all the birds to a motel room. Again, they were wonderfully well-behaved. I had to catch them all and put them in the cage by myself. They were cooperative, seeming to remember the previous night in the Rec Center and so let me put them in their cages without much protest. Only Betty made me run back and forth chasing her down for maybe 10-15 minutes
At the motel, we let Betty and Big Head and Tyche out. Betty and Big Head can fly and flew up to the curtains a couple times; but we let them know that we wanted them to stay off the curtains, to sit on the cages on the table. And they did! They seemed to understand, and comply with our request. They were very good birds
All the birds were good. They kept fairly quiet. We took some of them out of their cages and they sat on my shoulder without protest. They seemed to enjoy the change and our company and attention. They are really a study in how to deal with adversity: never getting depressed, chirping instead and trying to remain happy.
Finally the power came back on and I transported the birds back to the house, and let them out of their cages. They had been amazingly well-behaved and I was thankful that nothing serious had gone wrong.
I think the birds and I have strengthened our relationship as a result of this experience!