Our avian family members are precious to us, and it is heart-rending when a pet bird gets lost. Pet birds are often at greatest risk during spring and summer, because they escape through doors and windows that are opened wide to welcome long-awaited warm sunshine and fresh air.
Once outside, even a bird that desperately wants to go back to her people may become frightened, disoriented and travel far from home. If the bird stays nearby, she might be too frightened to respond to her person’s calls.
Throughout the years, I have received literally hundreds of calls relating similar scenarios. Sometimes, the people have done everything right, but a visitor or a child unwittingly allowed a bird to escape. On other occasions, freak accidents occurred, where a window screen fell out as the window was being cleaned, or a neighbor’s dog nudged the door open, startling the bird and offering escape.
Sometimes, the bird is a friend of many years that has never flown in her entire life, or a bird whose wing feathers are usually kept trimmed but have grown back over the winter. The bird may even be a trusted companion that has never flown away after spending years of frequently riding outside, on her person’s shoulder or arm. A honking horn; a sudden and startling gust of wind; an aggressive dog’s sudden appearance; or sunlight flashing quickly off a car’s windshield or chrome are only a few of the thousands of ways that a bird can be startled into suddenly leaving its beloved people.
Pet birds are often at greatest risk during spring and summer, because they escape through doors and windows that are opened wide to welcome long-awaited warm sunshine and fresh air.
What do you do if you lose your pet bird? Follow these 4 tips:
Keep your bird in sight. Your bird might land in a tree or a roof. Stay calm and do not act erratic as you try to coax it down with your hand or perch. If you lose sight of your bird, go looking for your bird.
Alert Your Neighbors
Tell your neighbors and regular visitors, like the mailman, about your lost bird. Ask them to check their backyards or route, and leave your contact information.
Put Your Bird’s Cage Outside
Put it in a place where the bird will see it (some people have put cages on their roofs). Leave in food, water, treats and toys to entice your bird to come back.
Print Out A Lost Bird Flier
Post it around your neighborhood, vet clinics, rescues, pet and bird stores and other public bulletin boards. Use the Internet and local newspapers to put up a lost bird posting.
Want to learn more?
Tips for Creating Your Lost Bird Flier
Lost Bird Action Plan