Last night was very difficult, as I surrendered my three longtime companion cockatiels to a parrot rescue in Mead, Colorado. This was an extremely difficult decision for me to make, but I believe it was the best one for both me and my birdies.
They were creating a huge amount of "bird dust" in my home that isn't good for my lungs / asthma, and also made my place look like it had a powdery coating on everything all the time... despite using a huge HEPA filter and humidifier 24/7, and misting them with water often. I wasn't paying as much attention to them as they need, wing and nail trimming is costly when you have to do it as often as you should if you want them to come out of their cages and not fly around / away, and they are very noisy little birds.
I've had Sophie (top, pearl) and LeStat (middle, yellow-faced grey) for over 10 years... they are a mated pair. And I got Phil (bottom, white-faced grey) about seven years ago. I've found myself shouting at them often to "shut up!" as they would screech and make their loud bird sounds (not to be confused with their singing... I loved to hear that). This was especially tiresome during the weekends when I was home and it was common for them to be noisy ALL DAY LONG, and in my small condo, it all just got to be too much.
At their new home, they will be living with approximately 100 other birds (split up into two different aviaries)... nine of which are cockatiels. They will be slowly integrated and when ready, their cages will be opened and they will have a life of free-range birds! They will be able to meet other birds, become part of the flock, find a mate (Phil!), and perhaps Sophie and LeStat will meet others as well... though I really hope they stay together. They will be able to fly around freely, no more wing trimming! And... they will be fed fresh veggies / fruits daily... which they won't eat for me, but was told they will eventually. (It seems that once they become part of the flock, as the others gather around the fresh foods, curiosity will get the best of my three and they will eventually eat it as well.)
My condo sounds very empty this morning, minus the good morning chirps that I've heard everyday for over 20 years of having cockatiels. Their place in my dining room is empty, with no cages to uncover. This afternoon will be difficult as well, as there will be no loud chirping when I get home from work... their ever-present greeting to me after I've been gone.
I plan to go visit them, but I will miss them dearly. I already do...
(These pictures were few of the many I took their last night at home with me.)