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Prevent Bird Theft

Bird theft can happen at any time, but there are easy ways to discourage thieves from taking your birds.

Chris Davis

black-headed caique playing bird toys

One way that we lose can lose our avian friends is through theft. Although this can happen at any time of the year, open windows in spring and summer allows strangers to see or hear pet birds more easily. Also, more home repairs and decorative adjustments occur inside and outside the home in warmer months, which allow strangers to see our pet birds. People coming to your door to sell any number of items are not always honest, and some are actually checking out the homes in the neighborhood for valuables and ease of access.

You must remain vigilant for yourself, as well as your avian family members. People often equate birdkeeping with wealth and are more inclined to consider those homes for theft. Unfortunately, it does not matter if they are wrong. To those outsiders, the birds are merely another thing to steal. They do not care about the person, the bird or about long bonds of friendship, sometimes spanning a lifetime.

A while ago, I read about a 70-year-old woman whose three parrots were stolen. It was the inspiration for this depressing, but necessary, subject. She had all of her birds for a very long time, but her blue-and-gold macaw had been with her for 50 years. The birds were stolen from the downstairs while the woman and her husband slept upstairs. They heard nothing. The only other things missing were some towels taken, presumably, during the theft. There was no sign of forced entry.

The couple’s car had been broken into and some house keys taken from it several months before. Their address was in their car and, obviously, the thieves waited until they found the most valuable "things” in the home — the birds — and stole them. The man and woman had not changed all of the locks in their home after the theft of their keys.

It’s also been reported that GPS tracking devices in cars have been used by thieves to locate a home and burglarize it. The thieves can break into your car, and use your inputted home address in your GPS to find your location.

4 Ways To Prevent Bird Theft
1) Microchip your bird and keep a record of her number. Thieves might remove your bird’s leg band so it isn’t easily identified.

2) Upgrade your security system in your house. Keep your birds in a section of the house that isn’t visible from the front or backyard.

3) If your bird is stolen, get the word out to your neighbors, the police and local bird organizations.

4) There are few (if any) home insurances that cover pets if they are stolen; however, there are a few specialty insurance groups that cover pet thefts.

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Posted: February 13, 2014, 1:30 p.m. PDT

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