Tips for finding a lost parrot...
Losing your parrot can be a devastating experience. Unlike a dog or cat who may roam the (usually familiar) streets wearing a collar with a tag, parrots often fly up and away to hide in the safety of a tree's high branches. Often, they are so scared and confused by their surroundings that they are unable to find their way home, even if they wanted to. For desperate owners, Birdmart.Com has a few tips for getting your bird back.
1. Remember the "One Mile/One Month Rule": When looking for a lost bird, remember that an during the first month following "escape," a lost parrot usually stays within a one-mile radius of where it was lost.
2. Familiar Surroundings: Even if you cannot see your bird, he may be watching you. Your bird may be too scared to come down and see you, so entice him. Put his cage outside, full of his favorite junk-food, and leave the door open. If your bird has a feathered pal, put him outside, too (in a locked cage). Only attempt this if you are home and watching the cage(s) carefully. This may entice him to come down. If you have a dog/cat that your bird doesn't like, be sure to keep them far away from the cage.
3. Make Some Noise: If there are noises or words that your bird likes, walk the neighborhood making those sounds. Listen carefully, your bird might talk back!
4. Let People Know: When your bird becomes hungry or lonely, she may make contact with a stranger in desperation. This person may well go looking for the bird's owner. Make posters advertising your lost bird with a description and contact information. Give these posters to neighbors, veterinarians and pet stores as soon as possible. If there are bird breeders in your area, let them know you lost your bird, too. Also, place an advertisement in the Lost & Found section of any newspapers in your area. Finally, stick posters up on phone poles (please pull them down when your bird is found!) and in community centers. You may even go door-to-door asking neighbors to keep an eye out for your bird. This way, if someone has seen/found your bird, they can easily find you, too.
5. Remember Your Animal Welfare Groups: Be sure to contact your local animal control, Humane Society and any parrot rescue groups in your area. Let them know you have lost your parrot and give them a contact number where they can get a hold of you if someone reports a found bird.
6. And Most Importantly: Be stubborn about finding your bird. Parrots are very adaptable and can live feral in many parts of the United States. Your best chance for getting your bird back is if you are proactive!
The Best Advice We Have: If you are a careful bird owner, you may never be in a "lost bird" situation. We offer two tips to protect your bird:
1. CLIP YOUR BIRD'S WINGS!!! Birdmart.Com recommends a bilateral (two-sided) trim of the first 8-10 flight feathers (except African Greys, trim only the first 6 for these birds). This trim does not show when your birds wings are folded, and it allows just enough "flight" to get your bird to the ground gently if he should choose to jump off a perch, etc. It is perhaps less aesthetic that other trims that leave either the first 2 flight-feathers, or every-other flight feather long. However, this trim is the safest clip on the market (Click here to learn how to clip your birds wings). If your bird is well trimmed, he is far less likely to escape.
Remember to keep an eye on the status of trimmed wings. They can grow back quite suddenly, leaving your bird fully-flighted again! Also, when you bring your bird in for a grooming be sure he is in a cage. Many birds have been lost because they traveled cageless on the way to a wing trim!
2. Use Our New Technology: Be sure to have your bird microchipped. These tiny rice-sized chips can be easily inserted into your bird's breast-muscle. Once there, they stay for life. These chips can be "scanned" to reveal a permanent ID number that will reveal the name and contact information of a pet's owner. This way if your bird escapes or is stolen you have firm proof that this is your bird. Many vets and humane organizations routinely scan any pets that are brought to them.