One of the most common accidents that befalls bird owners is that a fully flighted bird (one with
untrimmed wings) escapes through an open door or window. Just because your bird has never flown before or shown any interest in leaving his home or even his cage doesn’t mean that he can’t fly or that he won’t become disoriented once he’s outside.
Why don’t lost birds come home?
Some fall victim to predators in the wild, while others join flocks of feral, or wild, parrots (Florida and California are particularly noted for these). Still other lost birds end up miles away from home because they fly wildly and frantically in any direction. And some people who find lost birds don’t advertise that they’ve been found because the finders think that whoever was unlucky or uncaring enough to lose the bird in the first place doesn’t deserve to have him back.
How to Catch an Escaped Bird
If, despite your best efforts, if your bird escapes, you must act quickly for the best chance of recovering your pet. Here are some things to keep in mind:
• If possible, keep the bird in sight. This will make chasing him easier.
• Make an audiotape of your bird’s voice (so you’re ready for just such an emergency) and play it outside on a portable tape recorder to lure your bird back home.
• Place your bird’s cage in an area where he is likely to see it, such as on a deck or patio. Put lots of treats and food on the floor of the cage to tempt your pet back into his home.
• Use another caged bird to attract your cockatiel’s attention.
• Alert your avian veterinarian’s office that your bird has escaped. Also let the local humane society and other veterinary offices in your area know.
• Post fliers in your neighborhood describing your bird. Offer a reward and include your phone number.
• Don’t give up hope.