Lost & Found Birds - What To Do

The thought of your bird escaping and flying away is most bird owner's worst fear.

The very best thing you can do is be diligent about PREVENTION.

 

  1. When entering and exiting your home - practice a double door policy; double check that birds are in their cages prior to exiting; and keep your doors locked while birds are out of their cages to prevent someone from unexpectedly walking in.  

  2. You may want to open some windows to let a nice breeze in the house, but make sure to double check that your screens are secure and keep the blinds pulled down over the opening for extra security. 

  3. When taking your bird outside, make sure they are wearing a harness or are secure in a travel/outdoor cage. 

  4. If your bird is fully-flighted, practice recall training so that your bird is comfortable flying to you on cue. 

  5. Finally, always remember that a clipped bird can still fly! Even if your bird is clipped, you still need to practice the above policies.

Even with the best practices of prevention, accidents can still happen. What should you do if your bird escapes and flies away? The most important step is to ACT IMMEDIATELY. If your bird gets loose, it's a dangerous situation. A pet bird is unlikely to be able to care for itself in the outdoors and there are many predators who will see your pet as an easy target. Keep your bird in your direct sight for as long as you can to increase your chances of recovery. Call upon as many friends, family members, and neighbors as you can to help search and provide them with lightweight towels or sheets. Instruct volunteers to examine all angles of trees, bushes, light poles, etc., looking both high and low. Remember that your bird will be scared and may not come or respond to you as they normally would.

 

The next step is to put your bird's cage outside in a place that can be easily seen. Make sure it is fully stocked with your bird's favorite food and treats to try to entice them out of hiding. Have someone positioned nearby the cage to quickly grab the bird if is nearby. You may even want to tie fishing line to the open door so that it can be quickly closed from a distance. Use familiar sounds to entice your bird out of hiding, such as calling its name/nickname or playing their favorite music. If you bird has a flock mate, it would also be helpful to bring them outside in a secure carrier or travel cage. 

Sometimes your immediate response will fall short and you may lose sight of your bird. It is now time to focus on a PROLONGED PLAN. Alert your neighborhood through social media and post flyers, which list your bird's name, description, picture, and directions of how to respond and reach you. Instruct people not to approach your bird, but to keep them in their sight until you arrive. Call local vets, animals shelters, and rescues, and list your bird as many places as possible: 

  1. Post your lost or found bird in 911 Parrot Alert's database: https://www.911parrotalert.com/

  2. Post in the social media network, Nextdoor

  3. Advertise in the "lost and found" and "pet" sections on Cragslist

  4. Post to as many social media and Facebook groups as you can think of: your neighborhood group and surrounding neighborhoods, local parrots clubs or groups, other pet loving groups, local shelters or rescues, and on your own personal page. Make sure to make your post is public and shareable, and encourage people to spread the word. 

If you have found someone else's bird, you should follow these same steps to try to connect with the owner as soon as possible. If you are able to capture the bird and have it in your possession, provide it with water, chopped vegetables and fruit. Offer unsalted seeds and nuts if you have them available. You should contact a local rescue, shelter, or vet for care instruction and what to do next if you are unable to locate the owner. If you have not been able to successfully locate the owner and are no longer able to care for the found bird, please visit our Surrender page or contact us directly about what to do next. 

Finally, if you have lost your bird, do not give up hope. Birds are sometimes found weeks or months later. Keep sharing on social media to remind people you are still looking. If and when you are reunited with your bird, make sure to take down these posts and flyers and thank everyone who helped your search.