Losing a pet is a traumatic experience, and despite one’s best efforts it can happen to anyone. While a lost bird presents challenges not present with other animals, there are ways you can increase your chances of recovering your feathered companion. Below are some tips you may want to try if your bird flies away.
Incidentally, many of the same tips for finding a lost bird can be used when a bird has been found and the owner needs to be located. Be sure to report the finding of a lost pet to the following websites, groups, and individuals, and always call your local newspaper. Many papers will list a found pet for free.
Check the bottom of our Home page for a listing of recently found birds. We list birds as “found” for a period of thirty days from the time the bird is either found by us or is turned in to our organization. Thereafter, we begin the process of putting the bird up for adoption, i.e., vetting, finding a foster home, listing on Petfinder and Adopt-A-Pet.
ParrotAlert.com is another great site for reporting lost and found birds, and volunteers register their specific locations for alerts on lost birds. The more eyes looking in those particular areas the better.
Your number one effort should be to get the word out. That means contacting anyone and everyone who might have seen your bird. You will want to post fliers, make phone calls, and talk to people. Because a lost bird can travel much farther than most people think, you should make contacts and post fliers in at least a one-mile radius of your home.
Here are some tips for making your fliers:
- Make it as eye-catching and legible as possible. Use your computer and printer, if you have one, rather than hand-scrawled words. Use a large, bold font that can easily be read from a car passing by. If you don’t have access to a printer, handwrite the flier as legibly as you possibly can.
- Include a large color picture of your bird. Because there are so many bird species a picture is more helpful than a description alone.
- Make your phone number and the words “Lost Bird” or “Lost Companion Bird” as large and bold as possible.
- Offer a reward. No one can tell you how much is appropriate, and you don’t even need to put an amount on the flier. Just be sure to offer one.
The following is a list of places and people to contact:
- Your neighbors
- Animal shelters – regularly call them back to check
- Animal rescue groups – especially if you can find a bird rescue group in your city; check your phone book and look on Petfinder in case they aren’t in the phone book
- Bird clubs – many cities have parrot or wild bird enthusiast clubs, so be sure to check your phone book and the Internet
- Small businesses in your area – beauty shops, quick marts, print shops, etc.
- Veterinarians – let them know and ask if you can post a flier on their bulletin board
- Newspapers in and around your area – if you haven’t recovered your bird already, be sure to renew the ad when the time is up
- Pet shops and pet supply stores – ask if you can post a flier on their bulletin board
- Recreation centers – ask if you can post a flier on their bulletin board
- Wild bird or wildlife rehab centers – Not knowing what the bird is or what to do with it, people will often contact a wildlife, especially wild bird, center when they have found a companion bird
- Police department – give them fliers so they can be on the lookout, or in case someone reports a found bird to them
- Mail carriers and delivery people – because they are regulars all around your neighborhood, they may see your bird or know someone who has
You may also want to make a larger poster or sign to post in your front yard or at the entrance to your subdivision. It should also be eye-catching and legible.
In addition to searching, posting fliers, and talking to people, there are some things you can do to attract your bird in case he or she flies over or around your home, such as putting the bird’s cage outside. Because it can be difficult to see from overhead, put a white sheet on the ground, then set the open cage on that to make it more visible. Set out familiar toys too.
Here are some other sites/pages with helpful information: