They offered to replace or refund the loss. I don't want to replace the birds as I'll be back to school next week and I don't want to risk another post office debacle. I went back to the local post office and they can't say why they can't account for the time between Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning. I guess that is plausible deniability on their part.
Metzer was great. I ordered some hardgoods from them just because they were so professional about this.