When I bought my parrot he had his wings clipped. I let his wings grow back so he could fly around. I hated the thought of him not being able to fly.
On three occasions he went missing. When I mean he went missing, he flew out of the door. Not only once but THREE TIMES! I can’t believe I got him back that many times. I feel so lucky!
The last time he went missing was more memorable than the first two. The poor little guy was missing all night and I didn’t find him until morning. Every time he went missing it was devastating! But when he went missing the last time, I thought I would never see him again! It was a terrible feeling!
This day that he went missing I felt stupid! I was at the back laundry door, standing there with my husband with the door wide open. I remember we were arguing about some broken glass on the ground just outside the door. I was trying to get the vacuum out to clean up the glass and Byrd flew straight out the door.
I started running around the neighbourhood calling his name "Byrd". I felt so stupid for having done it (lost him again!) I couldn’t find him anywhere. I was so frantic, I didn’t realise I didn’t have my shoes on until later. For hours I looked for him. I did finally see him flying through the air squawking. I think he could hear me. But he must have been confused as he was circling the air. I couldn’t believe how high he was! Then he was gone. I kept looking until it went dark.
I couldn’t keep all these terrible thoughts out of my head. Like how he might have been eaten by a cat, killed by a dog. Attacked by other birds. Or maybe someone had found him and he was being looked after. It was dark and I kept thinking how he must have been cold and hungry. He didn’t know how to find food.
I knew there was nothing more I could do but go to bed. It was very hard to sleep that night. So when morning came, I was up as soon as the sun was. My husband asked me where I was going and I said to go and find my bird. I took an empty wrapper from a cherry rip with me. He goes nuts when he sees those chocolates! 5 mins into the walk, I get to an area where I found him the last time he went missing. I thought, you never know.. Creature of habit maybe??
The area is a clearing between houses with lots trees and shrubs. It’s quite early in the morning and I can hear the birds waking up. They are all making their calling sounds. So I go about calling "Byrd", not really caring about the poor people that still are asleep in the beds.
Then I hear this faint woof whistle sound. I start to walk faster and the whistle gets louder. Until finally I am straining my neck looking up through all the trees and here is my little blue boy all fluffed up and half asleep in a small tree. I thought to myself, thank god he isn’t way up high in a massive tree. But still, he was high enough for me not to be able to reach him!
I can’t remember what I said to him, but it would have been along the lines of "where have you been?" But I remember he said to me "what are you doing?" and I said "looking for you, you little bugger!"Not funny then, but is funny now...
It felt like I had been standing there for an eternity trying to persuade him out of the tree. I had the wrapper and I was rustling it pretending to eat something and saying other things that usually made him come to me. He was inching closer to me and leaning down as if he was going to fly to me and then would stop. And then I asked him if he wanted a cup of tea. It took 30 mins for him to finally come down and land on my shoulder. I figured he knew he wasn't going to get a cup of tea out here and decided to come home. I gently put him under my jumper and walked home.
When I got home, I put him in his cage and he ate and ate and ate. I have never seen him that hungry before. He was quiet too. It was a few days before he started to talk again.
Ever since that day I think he has been afraid to go outside. Whenever he flies into the laundry and sees the door start open, he flies away deep into the house. Even if it’s just the wooden door opening and the security door is closed, he flys off towards his cage..
A few pointers if you ever have a missing bird:
Start looking straight away. My bird was found in approx the same area all three times.
Take a treat with you. For example an apple or maybe something that they really like that they can’t have and they always try to pinch it from you. For Byrd it was "cherry ripe" chocolate. He can recognise the wrappers by site.
Never throw anything up the tree to make them come down and don’t try to poke them with for example a stick. These actions will only make them fly further away.
Don’t give up too easily. I found my bird the next day!
Put flyers out with a photo of your bird and with a contact number. If your bird is friendly he/she may have landed on someone's shoulder or flew in their patio area etc. I would be wary about mentioning a reward though...
mplo28 on July 16, 2017:
Oh, my god! As the owner of a captivity-born and raised pet Congo African Grey Parrot named Aziza, who's now 7.5 years old, the stories of people's pet birds that go missing, whether they're eventually found or not, are rather unsettling...and horrifying. That's why I not only keep Aziza's flight feathers clipped, but I will never, ever bring her outside at all, especially without a carrier.
There are other problems with bringing a pet bird outside, no matter where one lives: Insects can be a rather dangerous problem to pet birds.
Erin on September 24, 2014:
My quaker flew out the back door... I chased after him. He was flying way beyond the roof tops in the neighborhood. I turned around to check to see if I closed my gate and lost sight of my Larry. He was gone. No sign of him, no sound. All day looking for him. 10 hours went by, I decided to bring my other quaker outside in a cage, and see if she would call for him. Sure enough... I heard him. I followed the screeches he was making, and found him three houses down, in the woods, in a tree. Poor thing, I felt so bad for him! But he came to me, and I was so relieved, I cried. I was lucky to had found him. I never would have thought that Larry could fly like that. He never did before- but he sure did then. I trimmed his wings. I'm not sure if he can still fly high... But I don't even what to find out. No more back door!
musebaby (author) from Australia on September 19, 2014:
Its lovely and heartwarming reading all of these stories. I hope everyone has had a happy ending in finding your birds!
gabu on April 26, 2014:
My boyfriend love bird has gone missing and he is very well tamed he would always stay in the room but now he isn't there. I pray my boyfriend gets him back because that bird meant everything to him
mark on August 30, 2013:
I have a yellow canary I hade it for 3 years every day I put him on the balcony but today I forgot the cage dor opend and hi did flight and now I am waiting for him an praying I well let the cage open and wait
Arielle on July 21, 2013:
I wanna thank you so much for sharing this. My senegal went missing tonight and we cannot find him after looking for 3 hrs until it got dark. My bird tries to steal hershey kisses all the time. I would never had thought of that idea, if it was for you story. I thank you so much for sharing this!
sam on July 03, 2013:
I have a pet crow called thor, he flew outside today when i was letting my dog go intot he back yard, he tried to do his playful thing and land on my head, but he slipped and a gust of wind took him and blew him into the distance until he went over houses and was gone, i have been looking for him all day, to no avail, i am now starting to loose hope because he flew so far away and he didn't have clipped wings :( i miss him so much i can hardly eat and i cant sleep. I just want my baby bird back, i hand reared him after saving him from next doors cat when he was just a teeny baby. and now he is gone. I hope he flies back, i have left food outside for him, i will put his cage out tomorrow maybe he will see it and fly in for safety.
secretstina on February 27, 2013:
I can't believe this just happened to me! I was stupid enough to leave the door open on a nice day, thinking my lovebird Georgie would stay with me or if he does fly, he can't possibly fly far because his wings were clipped. How wrong I was! Those wings have grown back more than I had imagined, because in one graceful curve he flew the entire length of my backyard and into a neighbor's tree. I ran to put on shoes, raced down into the yard and peeked over the fence, listening to him and calling to him. I was SO LUCKY that one of my neighbors was out in his yard and helped me to climb the fences and locate my bird, and later allowed me to come in through their garage when George flew towards their yard instead (another stoke of luck). While my neighbors kept an eye on the bird, I ran back to the house and came prepared, this time with large branches of millet spray (his treat) and a small laundry net, which was the only net I had at hand. I called to him from their yard and thankfully, he actually started coming down lower on the tree and paying attention to me, then flew to the ground inside the yard I was in. I fed him millet and got him to step up off the ground onto my hand, then slowly brought the laundry net to him and caught him in it. I am SO HAPPY I got my lovebird back! Now I learned my lesson the hard way that the little dude can fly like nobody's business, despite being clipped when he was younger.
George is a peach faced lovebird, 3 months old, and I have had him for about a month and a half. I trained him two things: to "Step" aka step up, and "Come Here" with a clap of one hand, which normally makes him come to me pretty reliably. Needless to say, it was so much harder to get him to listen to me outdoors, but I think that training really helped to get him to come down eventually.
I hope everybody finds their birds!!
Anonymous on February 21, 2013:
Just today, i came back from school like usual, but my bird wasn't in her cage. I kept calling her and she wasn't in the house. My dad came home (he loves her SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much) We told him the news and he seemed shocked. He went outside, callin for her. We could hear her. We went to the neighbours house, and asked if we could look in their backyard. Guess what? She was under their house! I went under and got her, we were all so relieved. I got $20 for getting her back, too!
MEME on August 30, 2012:
my bird flew away too but i found him within 5 minutes he was just afraid that i was gonna leave him again at my boyfriends house! i ran to get him but he got even more frightened and started to fly more then i slowly walked towards him and called him and he ran to me! I grabbed him and tucked him in my shirt lol and put him in his cage! I WILL NEVER LET HIM OUT OF HIS CAGE OUTSIDE, ONLY IN THE HOUSE :D
kimh56 on June 05, 2011:
I lost a cockatiel once by allowing someone into the house and forgetting he was out of his cage. SInce then I have been VERY careful!
If your bird is just barely out of reach, and you have taken the time to stick or target train them, you can use a familiar-looking perch or other item to retrieve them. Don't poke at them... just hold it up there and tell them to "step up". This is the most basic command that ALL birds should be taught as young as possible. If they have not bee trained this way, or it is an avid biter, then you might need to have a bird net (available at pet shops) to catch it with.
Putting a cage out with food in it is a terrific idea, and I know it has worked for friends of mine. However, also be aware that the food willd draw other critters, like squirrels and wild birds, who may harbor disease that is contagious to your bird. If this happens, change out the food and water immediately! Don't allow your bird into that cage until it has fresh food and water.
Advertising your lost pet can be a terrific way to get it back. But as you said... be wary of offering rewards. Too many unscrupulous people out there.
GREAT POST! I enjoyed it :-)
phinalipy on March 17, 2011:
I had bought a bird 4 days ago i didn't nu it was sick like in 3 days it had died i found out it was sick. :'( thn this other time i left my back door open and my girl bird flew away i was crying like mad my brother went in the tree but fell on his head i new she wouldn't come so she just flew higher and it was winter
patricio from Nashville on July 07, 2010:
my brother re caught a red headed amazon buy putting the cage WITH FOOD out side. the bird saw the food and returned to the cage. He just walked up and closed the door to the cage. GOOD LUCK
hina on July 07, 2010:
you r so lucky that you found your bird my bird had been lost for 3 days and i just cant find him...... heart broken...
bebo on March 28, 2010:
My bird(cocktiel) flew away ,an hour ago. I really love her . I was out searching for her,but could not find her.I cant let her go. I will go out and search from tommorrow everyday,until i find her. Hope i find her out.