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Patricia, Parrot Consultant
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1759
Experience:  Published author, free lance bird behaviorist, adviser to the parrots at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
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how do I get my bird down from a tree

Customer Question

He's a cocketeil and he is in a medium sized tree. He's been out for about 20 minutes.
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Patricia replied 10 years ago.

Hello Jay. Oh no, how unfortunate. This is not going to be easy, as I'm sure you have already figured out. He is probably so frightened and in shock at the whole thing, he may not ever be registering that you are calling to him. The main thing is going to be to try to keep him in sight at all times, should he fly off. I don't know where you live but depending on location, he is at high risk of being taken by a raptor, (hawk, eagle, etc.) You can try sitting his cage outside, in plain sight with the door fastened in the open decision. Of course you cannot leave it unattended. And continue talking and calling to him, in hopes that he will settle down enough to actually hear you and register that it is a familiar voice. The hope is that he will be able to see and recognize that it's his cage and he will be drawn to it. Even if he leaves the tree, do not give up. There is what we call the one mile/one month rule. Of course Tiels are the very best flyers of all cage birds so assuming he is fully flighted, he is capable of ranging pretty far. I'm going to give you a lot of information from my own web site that should be helpful as well. Much against my better judgement, I'm also going to give you a last ditch, desparation move you might consider. I don't like this method at all because there is a lot of risk for injury but if you are very, very careful, it might work for you. If you have a garden hose handy and if you can direct a heavy spray from above his head, down onto his body, the weight of the water may bring him down and restrict his flying just long enough for you to catch him. Under no circumstances, should you spray directly at him. If you live in a part of the country where it is very cold, the added risk with this method is that you will get him wet, and he will get away anyway. Then he is going to be chilled with no way to get warm and dry and his survivial will be iffy at best. It bears repeating, this is very risky and is only a last ditch, desparate move. Only you can weigh out the pros and cons and decide. I hope this will be some helpful information for you and I will be keeping all my fingers crossed you can get the little escapee back soon, safe and sound. If and when you do, a check up at the vet's is definitely in order because he has already been exposed to a myriad of dangers from wild birds. The very best of luck to you. Patricia

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. Here is a few tips for getting your bird back.

  1. Remember the "One Mile/One Month Rule": When looking for a lost bird, remember that and 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 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!


More Links:
To Report a Found Bird: [email protected]
To Report a Lost/Stolen Bird: [email protected]

Bird HotLine - World Wide Bird Lost and Found

Lost & Found Birds Listing

Birdhobbyist's Forums - Lost & Found Birds


PETSEARCH(UK) - Register of lost and found

Yahoo! Directory Animals Classifieds > Lost and Found