Parakeets are not renowned adventurers, and on their first excursion outside they rarely take off to explore the world. They usually flitter about close to home, so your chances of getting a lost bird back are pretty good.
Go outside immediately. The longer you wait, the further the bird may go, and he might get completely lost. Take his cage with you, if it is small enough. If not, take another cage or carrier that he is familiar with. If all else fails, just take his favorite toys and some treats.
Look around carefully, using binoculars if you have a pair. The telephoto lens on a camera may be helpful if you don’t. If you see your bird, make your way over to the tree or building that he is perching on, not forgetting to ask permission if this involves you traipsing into your neighbor’s yard. If you don’t see him, remain near the window or door that he flew out of.
Spread his favorite treats in the cage or carrier. If you only have one parakeet, open the cage door. If you have two and the second is in the cage, keep it closed for obvious reasons. The cage, the treats, toys and companion, if he has one, may entice him back quickly.
Make the noise that you usually make when calling or feeding him, whether calling his name, whistling or rattling a bag of food.
Sit down and read a book or play with your phone or whatever keeps you entertained if he does not return immediately. Wait for about 30 minutes before moving onto the next stage.
Leave his cage, if you don’t have a second bird, where it is and go inside. Phone all your neighbors first, then local animal sanctuaries, zoos, pet stores, vet clinics and perhaps the local newspaper, telling them that you have lost a parakeet. Request that people phone you if they see him, not try to catch him themselves. Take the cage or carrier with you when somebody spots him outside. If he is handed in to a shelter, pet store or zoo, just take a carrier or cardboard box.
Open the window to the room with his cage, if it is getting late and you still have not found him. Hang his toys in the window. If practical, and provided you do not have another parakeet, hang his cage as well. The sight of familiar objects lets him know that this is the way home. Parakeets can become disoriented, wanting to return home but not sure of the way.
Create “lost parakeet” flyers on your computer if you are not having much luck. Use a clear picture of your pet. If you don’t have one, use any decent picture of a bird with similar coloration. Don’t forget to include your contact details, including cell phone number and email address, in large text. Distribute these through your neighborhood.
- The Parrot Club recommends enlisting the help of local children to find a lost bird. This can be a great idea as many pairs of eyes increase the chance of somebody spotting your parakeet. However, remember to tell the children and/or their parents not to approach the bird when they spot him. A stranger approaching might just make him fly away.
- If you have located your pet but are unable to entice him back into the cage, contact Animal Control or the equivalent. They should be able to catch him.
Judith Willson has been writing since 2009, specializing in environmental and scientific topics. She has written content for school websites and worked for a Glasgow newspaper. Willson has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.