Parrots & Earthquakes

Posted by Raz on Apr 6th, 2010
Apr 6

Carly and Piper were home in their cage during the 7.2 quake near the California-Mexico border, while I was off eating bunny cake, and it’s been interesting seeing how they have behaved since then.   When I got home they were a bit jumpy, but nothing too serious.  In San Diego, about 100 miles away from the epicenter, it was definitely the strongest one I’ve been in having lived in California for 33 years. (I missed Northridge, though I lived right at the epicenter of that one for several years).  But it was mainly rattly, a few small things fell over, nothing violent.  The oddest thing was that it lasted so long — about 60 seconds — and got stronger at the end.

Whenever there was a large aftershock (over magnitude 4.5 or so), if Piper or Shiera were sitting on a solid perch they would fly off (Shiera with a loud call) and be jittery afterwards.  If they were sitting on a rope swing or net, they weren’t bothered; probably you can’t feel the shaking when suspended like that.  Shiera normally hangs out in part of the kitchen where her cage stands open, with a gym, ladders, and a boing around it.  After the quake she did not want to go in or on the cage, and just started to go back there today.  It’s quite rattly when it’s bumped.  She had flown onto the big rope net in the other room when I arrived home after the quake.

Piper had a big night spook at 4 am when we had a 5.1 aftershock. That’s just a small rumble here, but he went flying all around in the dark and crashed in the bathroom.  Then he wouldn’t sit on anything high up.  He slept the rest of the night sitting on the bathroom counter, even though there was a boing and his normal sleep perch nearby.  Carly didn’t move from the sleep perch during his scare.

I really didn’t see Carly react to any of the aftershocks at all, though she appeared a little tense that first evening (tense muscles, reacting quickly to sounds).   But when I went to put them in their cage this morning, two days later, the first time since the quake, neither Carly nor Piper would have any of it.  It took me almost 45 minutes to coax them in.  (Brought out the heavy guns — peanut butter — and even that took some coaxing.) It didn’t even occur to me at first why they might be reluctant to get in today, since they normally have to be battled off while I put their foraging food in the cage.  Piper was especially reluctant.

Very unfortunate that they were inside the cage when the quake happened.  At least Shiera was able to fly away from the shaking metal.  But I think they have enough positive associations with it from all the foraging and toys that they should get back to normal quickly.  Providing we don’t have a big aftershock today! (Below: the 1,064 earthquakes we’ve had in this area in the last week. 46 of them were before the big one, the rest after.)

Easter Sunday 2010 shake map

Lots of shaking going on here this week! The big yellow square under the others is the magnitude 7.2 quake from Easter Sunday. (San Diego is just west of El Cajon.)