What To Do If Your Bird Is Lost
Compiled by Emily Heenan
STAY CALM, confident and positive that you will recover the
bird. People tend to give up too easily and way too soon.
FINDING THE LOST BIRD. This is often the hardest part, but once
accomplished is half the battle to successfully recovering the bird.
is of the essence in this phase. As long as you know where the bird
you can get it down with time - in most cases with enough time it will
down on its own, so long as you can keep track of it long enough. If
already know where the bird is located, skip to 3. RECOVERING THE BIRD.
Listen, listen and listen some more - if the bird is up in a tree
out of sight, chances are that you won''t be able to see it. But, if
bird vocalizes, you will be able to find its location by listening. It
will almost always make noises that can be heard, giving direction to
in. Taking another bird out to the area may also help, especially if
other bird is a noisy friend of the lost bird or a mate or cage
If you can't hear or locate the bird:
Make and distribute flyers in the
neighborhood. Include a picture!
Notify the Humane Society or Animal Control
3. Enlist the help of neighborhood kids. Children love to help look
lost parrots. They also tell on people that are hiding them.
Call area pet stores and vets. Ask them
keep their ears open for strange telephone calls like people asking
does a parrot eat?", "what kind of bird looks like this?" etc.
Place classified ads in newspapers.
Put up posters in local convenience stores and
Don't limit your notification activity to
immediate vicinity where the parrot was lost. Frightened birds often
RECOVERING THE BIRD: Chances are that the bird wants to get to
but is too frightened or doesn't know how. Often, the key is getting
bird motivated to get to you on its own. This can take a while. A
while. Continue calling calmly and soothingly to the bird.
DO NOT use a ladder or cherry picker/bucket truck or
sticks. Keep anyone and anything strange away from you that he might
afraid of. These will only frighten the bird away.
DO NOT take the popular advice to attempt to spray the
bird with a hose. This too will frighten the bird, and a wet bird can
Morning and late afternoon/evening are the most
times that the bird will come to you. It will rest in the afternoons
go to roost at night. If it is nighttime, do not waste your time
get the bird to come down. This time is better spent either resting up
the next day or working on flyers and other contacts.
Have someone watch the bird at all times during
day if you need to go for help.
If the bird is in a tree that you can climb, make
the person climbing is someone the bird is comfortable with. Bring a
favorite treat with you.
If you can reach the bird, calmly secure
and stuff it under your shirt so it can't get frightened and fly away
Some folks have even taken scissors up
them and trimmed the bird's wings then and there. This may be a little
Put a familiar cage and food out where it can be
by the bird.
If you have a second bird that the lost
will recognize the calls from, put the second bird outside where the
can hear it.
If the bird has been out for a while pack
picnic and eat right under the tree where the bird is. Make sure it's
something decadent and tempting such as French fries. Make a big deal
about how delicious it is.
Jealousy (a Significant Other giving the
bird's #1 person attention, or another rival bird or pet getting
from said #1) can work to lure the bird down.
With time and patience, the bird will calm
down and relax and become much more easily recovered. Signs of such
of state include preening, playing with leaves/branches, aborted
to fly down, etc.
It may take days for the bird to become
motivated enough to come down to you. Don't give up!!