I recently got a call from a distressed friend whose parakeet had escaped in her yard and didn’t know how to catch it even after trying for the better part of two hours.
Granted, I figured it’s time we have this discussion because every birdie owner will have to deal with a lost bird at least once in their hobby.
Even if your bird does not escape into the yard, smaller parrots are notoriously capable of hiding, getting lost, and stuck in the nooks and crannies of your home.
Your bird might even get into an accident and need to be caught for treatment.
As such, in this article, I plan to share the hacks I use every time my birdie escapes, hoping it will add to your chest of tricks and build into something helpful your moments of crisis.
How Do You Find A Lost Bird in Your House
Finding a lost birdie in your house is a lot easier than finding a bird lost outdoors.
For starters, she will readily hear your calls indoors, and it will be easier for you to get her response, assuming she is trapped or injured thus can’t fly to you.
Well, if your birdie is not trapped, only being mischievous, the best way to trap her is by using enticing toys and treats.
However, you need to know if your bird is acting up because she’s angry at you.
If your bird is furious and does not want you to handle her, place treats in her cage and wait for her to fly in, then shut the door.
Also, remember to place the cage in a raised area to allow your parrot an easy time finding it.
Another brilliant hack for truant birdies is a carboard box trap.
Prop a cardboard box on a stick with a long string attached to it, then place food and other treats to lure your birdie. Once she comes in to feed, pull the string to box her in, then move in for the catch.
A butterfly net, towels, and sheets come in handy as well, especially when trying to trap your bird while on the ground. With towels and sheets, you only need to time your birdie, then throw the fabric on her.
You can also use any appropriate net as long as it’s adequately shaped and big enough to capture your bird. It’s also helpful to have a long handle with the net when trying to catch a loose bird.
One last trick is having another bird call out for the lost one, more so when you can’t see her. This hack work magic mostly for birds that have been long time companion and bonded.
How to Catch an Escaped Bird Outside
Losing a bird in your house is less stressful than finding one that escaped and flew outside. Inhouse, there are only so many places she can hide, but outside, there is a whole lot of wild for her to get lost in.
So, the first thing you want to do is call out for her.
Assuming she hasn’t strayed so far away from your yard, she should be able to hear and fly to you. You can even try to coax her down with her favorite toys and treats once you sight her.
Birds not used to going outside are scared whenever they step out and will fly to the nearest tree for safety.
If your bird is stuck on a tree, use a ladder to get to her. A long dowel or toy ladder would be helpful for her to step while on far-off branches.
In instances where your bird escapes and you can’t seem to find her, I recommend leaving her cage outside with the door open.
Add toys and treats that’ll entice her even if she can’t tell that’s her cage.
Having a companion bird in the cage could also be quite helpful since he will call out and lure her, if she can find her way home.
Place your bird’s cage outside with her favorite food and toys in it. Add another bird (if you have one) outside and use it as bait. His chirps might bring the escaped bird back.
If you need to, you can also stay near the cage. This way, if your bird does come back, you will be able to help her get in the cage and back to the house.
An alternative is to make a special wooden box with two compartments and mesh front, then place a mate on one side. Have a flap or little door with a string that’ll allow her in but not back out.
Another trick I like to do is leave the window to my house open, such that if my birdie decides to come back, she will readily fly in.
Sometimes, your birdie will get lost and stray away from home, so it also advisable to form a search party.
Get your family members to walk around the yard and neighborhood calling out for her.
Birds are more chatty in the morning and evenings, plus it’s quiet during this period, thus the best time to walk around where your bird got lost.
Call out for her, then listen out for a response.
You may also want to tell your neighbors of the lost bird. Call the ones you can and make posters and place them around your estate for those you can’t reach by phone.
Since most birdies can fly miles away from home, contacting vets, animal centers, pet shops, and bird clubs will help as well. Ask them to look out for her among rescued birds brought to their shelters.
If you have a little money to spare while looking for your birdie, consider making a radio announcement and offer a reward; it helps a lot because people love money???.
Can Pet Birds Find Their Way Home
While common house pets like dogs and cats will find their way home when they stray, most birds are not endowed with a homing instinct, and you’re more likely to lose them forever.
While there are a handful of pet birdies such as doves and pigeons that are capable of flying miles away and still find their way home, you average parakeet, cockatiels, or cockatoo won’t.
As such, it is crucial to put some preventative measures in place for when your birdie gets lost; if it ever does.
First, make a recording of your birdie’s voice; it will come in handy if you ever lose her. Playing the recording is a lot less cumbersome than calling out for her, plus she is more likely to recognize and respond to her sound.
Secondly, accustom your bird to the outdoors. But make her know to come back into the house after a while. Help her master outdoorsy tricks as well, like climbing and how to fly down from trees.
This would also be an ideal time to consider microchipping your bird.
It’s relatively painless, inexpensive, and although the ethic is questionable, it will save both you and your bird so much stress and anxiety.
Happy Birding ???.