Thursday, December 10, 2009

Power outage update -- crisis averted!

Yesterday late morning the power went out. Luckily, we had received a grant from petfinder to purchase a generator earlier this year, so the birds were not affected by this. (Yes, I did link petfinder to CARE's adoptable animals page; however, you can use this amazing website to find pretty much any kind of animal that needs a new home!)

However, with temps (including windchill) expected to get to around negative 20, we did not want to chance having the birds depending on a generator for heat overnight. Time to put our disaster preparedness plan into action!

Lori called about 10 of our volunteers, and every single one stepped up and agreed to take in some birds in temporary cages until power was restored. Sher and Lori spent the day making sure that each bird had a temporary cage or carrier set up with toys, so that if it became necessary to get birds to volunteers, they could quickly be placed in their temporary home, since light would be waning.

We had been told that if power wasn't restored by 3 pm Wednesday, it likely wouldn't be restored until noon on Thursday. A little after 3, Lori called the volunteers and asked them to come up to get their temporary houseguests. What a nice surprise when the power went back on around 3:15 pm! The volunteers were called and told they were not needed, but thanked profusely.

As always, Lori and Sher were so thankful for the amazing volunteers CARE has. As an all-volunteer organization, we depend on people giving their time to help the parrots, and we're lucky to have great, dedicated people willing to help with little notice.

Though we didn't end up having to displace any of the parrots, even temporarily, it was a great exercise showing the effectiveness of our disaster preparedness. Should there be a next time, things will go even more smoothly.

One thing we did realize is that we do not have enough carriers to transport all of the parrots in our care. This wouldn't have been an issue yesterday since volunteers were willing to use their carriers; however, if we needed to do a large-scale evacuation, those carriers would be in use with the volunteers' birds.

Lori will be adding this to our wish list, but we need more carriers, in all sizes, preferable collapsible so that they're not taking up too much room when not in use.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Power outage

CARE has suffered a power outage today. We have a back-up generator running so the birds will be fine. We have been told that the power will go back on either by 3 pm this afternoon or by noon tomorrow.

We'll keep you updated!

Friday, December 04, 2009


Oscar is an approximately 30 year old gold capped conure. While it appears as though he was loved and well taken care of during the first part of his life, the past few years were not as kind to him.

From the story we were told, Oscar's owner developed health problems that prevented him from being allowed out of his cage for about 6 years. Then, after his owner died, he was left alone in the house for several months with someone coming by to feed him several times a week. For a social, flock animal, this kind of isolation is terrifying! (In the wild, a lone bird is usually soon a dead bird.)Oscar has a very sweet personality, and when he was surrendered to CARE, we placed him on a perch. Curious and exploring his new surroundings, he walked right off the end of the perch! Over the past few years, Oscar had gone blind and no one knew.

He received a thorough vet examination, and our wonderful vet said he is completely blind in one eye and can see only vague shadows out of the bottom of his other eye. His bloodwork showed nutritional deficiencies.

He didn't enjoy his time at the Center -- things were too chaotic for him. We found him a wonderful hospice home where things are much quieter. 30 is near the upper age limit for this kind of bird, so he probably doesn't have too much longer to live. But the last months or years of his life will be spent with people who love him, just like we think those first years were.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Maddie is a greenwing macaw who stayed with us several months last winter and this spring. She has since found a home, but I just found this video again and realized I never posted it!

A few days prior to this video, one of our volunteers started banging a pen against the cash register in an unthinking gesture. Imagine everyone's surprise when Maddie joined in!

We're recreating that moment, here.

One of the joys of working with these intelligent animals is discovering keys to their past. Did someone teach Maddie this in her past? Or did she come up with it on her own? In any case, it was absolutely adorable!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Meet Freckles, a cockatiel. Freckles was dropped off at the Domes as a "donation." After her former owner was information that the Domes can't take animal surrenders, her former owner argued with the employees at the Domes, set the paper bag in which Freckles was placed on the counter, and ran out of the Domes!

And with that interaction, Freckles's luck began to change! She lived for a few weeks with a wonderful Domes employee, until arrangements were made for her to come to CARE. During her short stint in her foster home, Freckles calmed down and showed her gentle personality.

Now we're looking for a permanent home for Freckles! Cockatiels can make wonderful companions, and whoever adopts Freckles will have a friend for years to come.