In the past 3 weeks alone Birdline has gotten in 3 lost birds, we’ve had calls/emails for others lost and some thankfully were found before we even had to post about them, we have also seen photos of birds lounging outside in the sun in various trees of varying heights, some fully flighted, some clipped, and NONE of them in harnesses or any kind of protection surrounding them.
I know we have a few photos of birds outside, and they should have a disclaimer attached as those particular birds ‘cannot’ fly, they have no feathers in which to fly and it would take a hurricane to move them anywhere but down, (notes will be added in the future for any such parrot shown outside). ALL our birds enjoy the outdoors either in harnesses or travel cages.
Typical scenarios of late are people who have their birds out and about with them and than go to the door to retrieve mail/and or let someone in, the natural instinct of the bird is going to be to FOLLOW you to the door, it only takes a second and your bird is now soaring the skies. Take that extra minute and put the bird BACK into their cage and close the door. Ensure all your screens are latched securely with no rips or tears, a flighted bird will land on open screens more often than you think, a small tear and they will find their way outside.
If you have alot of activity during the day, everyday through the summer months, you might want to rethink if your bird should be flighted or not. Discuss this with your vet and make the decision best suited to keep your bird SAFE. As well, have your bird micro-chipped, vet clinics and shelters can scan any found animal for a microchip and this ensures you get your companion back sooner rather than later!
IF YOU LOSE your parrot, immediately go out after him, if hes flying high and fast away from you, try to see which direction he is going, sometimes they circle back to you but most times they are now scared and can fly for quite a distant before landing, if they are a proficient flyer, they will most likely end up in a tall tree, if they are not, they may look for somewhere lower to land – bushes/shrubs etc and at times keep their home in sight from the treetops – if there is a high wind, the chances are likely that the bird could potentially be carried off for miles. If you have a spare cage or their current cage is accessible to the outdoors, place it outside – ideally ontop of a picnic table/table in the middle of the yard, some place where the bird can see it. If you lose visual on the bird, its time to act. Round up as many people as you can, if you have a dog, take it with you and walk the neighbourhood, keep your eyes up at the tall trees, and look in the bushes, if your dog is familiar with the bird, watch the dog, they could lead you right to the bird. Take a towel and a carrier with you, your bird will be scared/nervous and may be hard to handle, trying to hold him securely so he does not get away from you could add more undue stress.
If its clear hes disappeared start your phone calls. Call your local SPCA as your FIRST call, most found birds will end up at your local shelter! Than call your City animal bylaw services, the bird MAY end up there and than be transferred to the SPCA. Call the vet clinics within a few miles of where you live, many found birds also end up at clinics, if your close to strip malls go have a look around and get posters up as soon as you can, go by playgrounds and any areas where there is alot of people, get your posters up within a 6 block radius. Post an ad on the online venues and keep checking it hourly if possible, many people who find birds also post they have found them but do not necessarily LOOK for ads nor do they contact the SPCA if they have a found animal. If you have other Parrot rescues in the area, contact them. Go to Petlynx and file a report as well as with parrotalert.com. Get it up on your facebook and ask everyone to share it, it can reach hundreds of people in literally minutes!!
PLEASE BE AWARE OF WHERE YOUR BIRD IS AT ALL TIMES so that accidents don’t happen, just because your bird listens perfectly and has excellent recall does NOT mean that he/she is exempt from being lost. Birds with recall and free flight capabilities HAVE flown off and some have never been found. A bird will do what its meant to do and that is FLY, and when scared, that flight can take them for miles. If people come and go in your home, as is quite common, start latching the door/s or putting up a curtain in the doorway (tension bars can be purchased at the dollar store)and closing it as you come/go from the room, birds won’t fly through the curtain.
IF YOU FIND A PARROT follow the exact protocols and contact the appropriate agencies/clinics – you can take any found bird to any vet clinic in the city, keep it away from any of your existing birds – if you put the bird in a cardboard box, ensure there are air holes cut in the top, do not leave the bird in the box for an extended period, but long enough to get it to the help it needs. Although the bird may seem cute and loveable and you may have always wanted one, please DO NOT keep it, someone is most likely totally distraught at losing their friend and every effort should be made to help the bird finds it way back to its rightful owners.
An escaped bird is an accident and most accidents are preventable with due diligence – keep your feathered companions safe!!!