The move went fairly…smoothly. There was a last minute change in the date we were to leave which created a bit of chaos for us all, and by us all I mean me. The six days I thought I had left to finish my packing was shortened to two. I managed to get most of it done, but I rushed through so much of it that I don’t remember which box contains what.
When they first arrived at my place with the trailer, Dave, always the comedian, came in and looked at the pile of boxes in my living room and just shook his head. I took that to mean that there was no way it was all going to fit. I went pale, especially because there was still quite a bit that hadn’t even made its way into the stack in the living room. When they saw my reaction, the two of them doubled over in laughter. I was very glad to have been able to amuse them. I had to forgive Dave after he managed to fit everything in the trailer with room to spare. That may be his greatest feat of magic to date.
The 18 hour drive went really quickly, mainly because Jamie and Dave are SO fun to hang out with. We laughed through most of the ride, but they made me drive the whole way. The birds were amazing – all of them. I knew and expected theirs to be seasoned travelers, but I expected mine to be pretty stressed with the road trip. They weren’t. Of course, they did put Linus in a hermetically sealed, sound proofed plexi-glass carrier, so I can’t say for sure whether he screamed the whole way or not.
The first day at the house went equally as well. My birds went seamlessly into new cages and all the birds were tolerating each other. Linus, my umbrella cockatoo, was being a little love, and spent a good part of the day out in one of the aviaries. Theo, my easily spooked goffin cockatoo, thrilled with being tossed up in the air into flight alongside Bandit and Bondi, Jamie and Dave’s Galahs, and Cressi, their African Grey in the living room. Never in my wildest dreams did I see that coming on day one. Libby, my quaker, and the cockatiels did fabulously and just went with the flow.
Yesterday presented a few bumps in the road. Linus woke up in the morning feeling less than cooperative and gave me a few nice bites on my hand and shoulder. He was showing signs that he was feeling things were beyond his control and I am feeling badly that I may have pushed him too far and expected too much of him on day one. I set up his cage from Austin in the bird room. I prepared his favorite foods and tried to fill his day with things more familiar. It was not a great day with him, or for him.
Today Linus seems a bit more willing to interact. He has stepped up nicely a few times and is no longer threatening the humans in the household. He definitely seems to feel more comfortable in his own cage. Lesson learned. I think that as he settles in and I continue to keep him feeling at ease as best I can, he will be fine. I’ll post new developments.
Note: I suppose I should add that we did not actually entomb Linus in his carrier. It was a moving strategy that was up for consideration but not actually carried out.
Author Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.