Have you ever accidentally opened your door while your bird is out of his cage, giving him the opportunity to fly away? Losing a pet bird is every avian owner’s worst nightmare!
But what if it happens to you, you may be wondering what to do if your bird flies away.
Time is crucial in finding a lost bird because its life is at a high risk since captive birds don’t have the skills they need to survive in the wild. So, there’s no time for a blaming game.
That’s why we curated a guide on what to do when your bird flies away.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- 5 tips on how to find a lost bird
- if birds can find their way home
- and how long can lost birds fly
If you haven’t lost your bird yet but you’re interested in how to prevent your bird from flying away, we got you too!
But if you already lost your bird, don’t lose hope. If you’d act fast and do the steps below that respond to the question “what to do if my bird flies away”, there’s a chance you can find your bird.
1. Don’t Chase Your Bird
If you saw your bird flying out of the window or door, don’t chase him. You might just frighten him or make him think like you’re playing around.
What to do if your bird flies away?
Walk slowly to him instead and tempt him to come back to you using his favorite treats or seeds. It’ll be hard for birds to resist a good pile of delectable treats.
But what if he already flew far away and he’s now out of your home? This next step is crucial so heed our advice.
2. Look For Your Bird Immediately
Birds can travel long distances so you need to respond immediately. There’s no time to blame anyone because the longer you vent your anger on other people, the farther your bird might go.
How to Find My Bird That Flew Away
Now, we’re going to discuss some tips on how to find a lost bird.
Check the surrounding areas
Search nearby poles, trees, wires, perches, or the roof of your home. Scan the trees 360 degrees because even brightly-colored birds can easily hide in leaves.
Get your capturing tools ready
You need some equipment to capture your bird so it’s best to prepare your bird or fish nets and lightweight towel. Searching will be easier if you have a few people that can help you out. So, get your family members before you get to the next step.
Think like a bird
Many pet birds in captivity aren’t familiar with the outside world. So, it can be difficult for them to get around at first because they probably don’t know how to fly down from the tree top down to the ground.
Therefore, many of them get stuck in light poles and tall trees. So be sure to check the trees near your home. Try to imagine where your bird might go and get stuck.
Use familiar sounds
One of the effective ways to lure an escaped pet bird to come back home is by calling it by name. You can also repeat his favorite whistle, words, sounds, and phrases to entice your pet to fly down to you.
Playing your bird’s favorite music while walking and looking for him can also help your pet to locate you and your home.
Seek the community’s help
If possible, contact local animal control agencies, all nearby vet clinics, lost and found centers, and pet stores. Give them your contact number should someone report sightings of your bird.
Then, create flyers with your bird’s photo, identifying features, and name. Post it at schools, telephone poles shop windows, and animal rescue groups within a 5-mile radius of your home.
Some birds are found within a ten-mile radius of the home so extend the search area by 5 miles the next day and one mile per day thereafter. Don’t be afraid the ask joggers, children, and people in your neighborhood to keep an eye out. You can also offer a $50 to $100 founder’s fee if you want to.
You can also utilize social media to find your bird, requesting people to report any sightings, noting the exact location, and keeping their eyes on the bird until you arrive. Post it on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter then ask your friends to spread the word if they can.
There are some Facebook groups and pages that help find lost animals too. You can post your lost bird on it but it may take time before the moderators approve your post so do it as soon as possible.
You can also take advantage of these sites to spread the word and find your bird:
3. Stay Outside
You need to be outside more often if your bird is missing because the most familiar landmark your bird can identify is you. So wear brightly-colored clothing so that if your bird happens to spot you, they may return to you.
So, be outside as much as possible. If your bird gets scared, he may look and call for you, but you won’t hear it if you’re inside your home.
4. Place the Cage Outside
Now here’s another tip on what to do if your bird flies away. Put the cage outside because it can serve as another landmark for your bird. Even if they have no idea what your roof looks like, they can recognize their own cage and they know there’s food in it.
So, if possible, place the cage near the flyaway. If your bird flew through a window, put its cage near it. It’s best if you can hang it and fix it as it looks indoors. You can also put it on a raised furniture piece like a chair as an alternative.
You can also utilize a quick-release trap door latch to lock the cage quickly as soon as your bird enters. But be careful not to scare your birds because you might just drive them away.
5. Wait For Your Bird
If you’ve done all the searching methods above and you still don’t have a clue about your bird’s whereabouts, it’s time to wait for him to come back.
What happens when your bird flies away?
The bird coming out of the cage may feel ecstatic for the first few hours or days to have the freedom to explore. So he may fly around anywhere and not pay attention to where they’re heading.
But one the second day, he may start calming down and looking for landmarks to find his home. On day three, he’ll get hungry, dehydrated, and exhausted due to excessive exercise and lack of sleep.
At this stage, your bird may try searching for food but fail at finding one so he’ll try to look for places where food is like his cage. He may try to look for his cage or ask strangers for some food.
That’s why reporting to agencies about your lost bird and giving your contact information is crucial. Some owners have retrieved their birds this way. But do birds come back if they fly away?
We’ll get deeper into that.
Will My Bird Come Back If It Flies Away?
Birds are social animals who need companionship. They’ll eventually search for people and birds they know and will attempt to come back to their owner in most cases.
Furthermore, captive birds will have difficulty finding food in the wild. So, when they’re starving and dehydrated, they’d surely think about going to where food is, which is their cage.
That’s the only way to fix their hunger unless they have the courage to approach strangers or explore further in a completely new area.
How Far Can a Lost Bird Fly?
This can vary depending on your bird. Some birds become wary of their surroundings and won’t fly far. They may be found in nearby trees or other perches.
But others become excited when flying away and travel long distances This could happen to parrots due to their good flying abilities despite their wings being clipped.
Some parrots have been recovered 50 miles away from their home. And if they’re chased by wild birds, they can go farther.
A parrot for example can fly around 30 miles per day. Many escaped parrots become stressed and fly in a single direction and that can lead them farther from home.
They may start flying in circles after calming down for a few days as they look for your house. But sad to say, the chances of birds finding their way back at such distances is relatively low.
However, don’t stress yourself too much! Those figures don’t apply to everyone. Keep your hopes up since your bird may have not flown too far.
But can they really find their way back?
Can Birds Find Their Way Home?
Some captive birds can manage to find their way home but it can be very challenging since they spent their lives inside the house. So, they don’t know what your house looks like on the outside and they have no idea how to locate it.
But they may use landmarks to find your home. For example, if you’re standing and talking outside your home, your pet bird may recognize you and your voice.
That’s why we highly recommend spending lots of time outside your home since it’s one of the few ways your bird can find you and your home.
How to Prevent My Bird From Flying Away
If your bird hasn’t flown away yet and you’re thinking about what you should do to prevent your bird from flying away, we got you covered!
Here are some tips that’ll help you prevent him from escaping.
1. Keep windows and doors closed
First, don’t leave any window or door open when your bird is out of the cage. You need to double-check the entrances and windows before releasing your bird because it may fly out through openings you might’ve overlooked.
2. Use warning signs and set a schedule
You should also inform your family members when the bird is out or put a warning sign on all doors. It’d be best to set a schedule for when to release your bird out of the cage and make your family aware of it.
3. Utilize double door boundary
If you can use a double door boundary or release your bird in inner rooms like a bedroom, that’d be even better. If you’d put him in a room with outside doors, he can quickly escape.
4. Train your bird
Teaching your bird some “freedom skill” will make retrieval easier. For example, you can teach your bird to come to you using a “recall cue” and fly to a brightly colored station target to give him his favorite treats as a reward.
You can also teach him how to fly down to you from taller perches, door tops, stairwells, or second-wall balconies.
5. Clip your bird’s wings
It’s a controversial topic since many think it’s cruel to clip a bird’s wings but it’s necessary if you don’t want to lose him. Your bird can still fly around the home when its wings are clipped but it will prevent him from flying around the sky and traveling long distances.
But birds with long wing spans have better flight ability even when their wings are clipped so they can still go very far. Therefore, you need to be extra careful and check if their wings need to be re-clipped if you don’t want to lose your pet.
Frequently Asked Questions About Birds Flying Away
Now that we’ve answered the questions regarding what to do if your bird flew away, we’ll now address other common questions about escaped birds.
Do pet birds want to fly away?
Many parrots or pet birds don’t fly away because they want to stay with their flock which includes you. Also, most birds with clipped feathers can’t gain much altitude so they believe they couldn’t fly far away.
Why do birds suddenly fly away?
If you lost your bird, you may be wondering and asking yourself “why did my bird fly away?” Well, birds may want to fly away to explore the outside world or join their flocks.
How do you catch an escaped bird?
One of the best ways to lure your escaped bird to go back is by hanging the cage outside and putting his favorite food or treats. It can also serve as a landmark that’ll help him find your home.
How do I find my budgie that flew away?
You need to call local vets, lost and found centers, animal control, and the Humane Society to ask them to report sightings of your budgie. Posting your bird’s photo and descriptions on social media like Facebook pages and groups and some flyers can also help.
What to Do if Your Bird Flies Away? — Final Tips
No matter how stressful and traumatic it can be, you need to stay calm when looking for your bird. Get the word out as soon as possible through physical flyers and social media because your bird may haven’t flown too far from your home.
And here’s a top tip if you have a large bird with an extensive wing span. Aside from having its wings clipped, try microchipping. As said earlier, birds with longer wings can still fly long distances.
But if you get these birds microchipped, you can locate them when they fly away and identify them.
Now that you already know what to do if your bird flies away, we hope you can find your feathery companion. With hard work, a whole lot of patience, and a little bit of luck, you may recover your bird.
And if you’re not a bird owner but you saw a bird flying out of the cage, kindly inform the owners. Such a little act of kindness can go a long way and save the beautiful avian creature’s life.