Monday, December 17, 2012

Mama Bourke Parakeet to the Rescue!

Our power went out yesterday at 4:30 p.m. due to high winds and probably a tree down on power lines somewhere. It didn't come back on until 9:45 a.m. this morning, and the temperature where the birds are was only 66 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. Colder than typical, but no drafts so everyone did fine.
Fine... Except for one near disaster!
Babies in a clean, new tissue box. Notice open door of cage.
I've been hand feeding three babies from Rosie and Pretty Boy since December 9. They're four weeks old and fully feathered, so I didn't worry about them getting too cold. They have a tissue box to huddle in and keep each other warm even though the power outage meant no heat source over night.
Last night I boiled water on a gas stove to mix Exact hand feeding formula and fed the babies via a reading lamp for my Kindle.
The "Mighty Bright" light for my Kindle. It was wonderful
for a power outage. Brighter than a candle and didn't flicker.
All should  have been well except that when I got up this morning I discovered that, after feeding the babies in dim light, I'd left the door of their cage open! The babies weren't in their tissue box or in the cage. I yelled to my husband, "Watch where you walk! The babies are out of their cage... And, where are the cats!?"
Now, the cats spent the night closed in our bedroom with us, but they came out to the kitchen with us at sunrise. We hurried the two of them back into the bedroom and closed the door; although I don't really think they'd have hurt the little birds. They know better and have always been very good, even if a bird lands right in front of them by accident. (It has happened in the past).
Mei-Ling is really rather bored by the birds, but I like
to remind her that they are to be left alone. She complies.
The babies in my hands are about a week old.
Immediately I retrieved one baby from under the kitchen table. Hubby found the next one on the floor between the refrigerator and the kitchen counter. No problem finding those first two and didn't expect a problem finding the third one. But it was!
We didn't have power yet and still very little morning light through windows. With bright flashlights we hunted high and low. The babies can fly...maybe not expertly yet, but they fly. After searching above, below and behind every nook and cranny in the kitchen, we went into the living room and then into the laundry room with the dog (he's behind a dutch door and they could have flown over the half door). When we couldn't find the bird, we started carefully moving furniture. After about an hour we'd looked everywhere we could think of. Then I got the bright idea that maybe Rosie could find her lost one.
I let her out of her cage. Rosie was hand fed and is very tame. If these babies had been from Cherry, who wasn't hand fed, this wouldn't have been possible. Rosie has been out several times when I've fed her youngsters. Their hand feeding began a week ago at three weeks of age. She's never tried to feed them while I feed them, but has stolen some Exact from them. She loves it.
Rosie flew to the cage where the first two now resided, still waiting for me to feed them until I could find their sibling. She called. I listened. Thought perhaps the baby would call back to her, but realized with so many other Bourkes in the house, I could scarcely tell one whisle from another. But, she could... She understood my request to her and went into action. She flew around the living room and back to the kitchen twice and on the third pass I was facing the cages when she flew past me with a baby flying right behind her! He had followed his Mama home. Where he was, who knows! But she led him home, God bless her. No doubt my prayers to St. Anthony and St. Mary helped too. (I'm convinced all the saints have a special fondness for birds). 
I let Rosie get into the baby cage with her young and she fed the wayward youngster, but not the other two. Perhaps rewarding him for coming with her. In short order, I heated water, mixed formula and fed all three with Rosie stealing bites in between as her reward.

So, all is well that ends well. Deep sigh.

Morning after rain and wind storm.
May none of your birds ever get lost, or if they do,
may you find them safe and sound with little effort.

1 comment:

neversink7 said...

quite amazing - so glad everyone found their way home :)