Lost Cockatiels and How to Help Find Them
By Eleanor McCaffrey,
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printed or reproduced without site owner's written permission

Losing a bird is devastating and it's always an accident. Even birds that rarely fly and birds with clipped wings can fly a great distance if they become startled by a loud outdoor noise or sudden movement.  It's not unusual at all for a very tame bird who always stays with you, to fly off and be gone forever. There are several common sense precautions listed below to help prevent this tragedy from happening to your bird. There are also several actions that you can take to help you find your bird is she does escape, listed beneath them.

To Prevent Birds from Escaping

Keep your bird's flight feathers moderately trimmed on a regular basis to prevent full flight ability. Cockatiels in particular are very strong fliers and some birds can fly a good distance even with clipped wings.
Keep screens on all windows and doors during the Summer. Check the screens on a regular basis to make sure they are not loose. A strong or heavy bird flying into a loose screen can push it out and escape.
Keep your home doors locked when your bird is out of the cage.
Don't open the birdcage if window and doors without screens are opened.
Keep your birdcage door tightly latched in case it's accidentally knocked over.
Don't ever open an outside door when your bird is out of its cage.
Don't ever walk out of the house with your bird on your shoulder.
Never take your bird outside unless it's in a cage or flight suit.
Never leave your bird outdoors alone. Birds left outdoors may be stolen by those intent upon selling the birds for profit. Birds  can also become an easy victim of prey to cats, dogs, and hawks.
Don't ever leave a child alone with your bird.
Don't ever leave your bird alone in a room unsupervised.
Leave your bird in the cage if you have guests who are unfamiliar with bird safety.
Use a lock on the cage door if safety is an issue with kids or guests.

Finding Your Lost Bird

Be prepared for all emergency situations, includin losing your bird in advance. Take photographs of your bird and have them made into larger size prints. Make several cassette recordings of your bird chirping, singing, talking. Also make a few cassette recording of your voice talking to your bird. Keep them where you keep your bird's first-aid kit so you can find them quickly. Keep a small travel cage on hand, for bringing your bird home if you find her a few blocks away. The following tips will also maximize your chances of finding your lost bird.

Ask somebody to watch and call your bird by name while you get your recovery supplies.
Play the cassettes that you made outside so your bird can hear familiar sounds. This may help your bird re-gain some orientation.
Place your bird's cage outside where it can be easily seen by your bird, a deck, patio, on top of a car. If the cage is black or metal colored, place a light colored sheet under it. If it's a white cage, use something dark. This will make the cage easier for your bird to see.
Throw birdseeds or pellets on top of the roof of you house, on cars, picnic tables, deck or anyplace else that is clearly visible. Your bird may land there, see you and fly back to you.
Take the recordings that you have made to homes in various areas of your neighborhood and ask others to play them for you. This expands the territory of sounds for your bird.
Have neighborhood children help you by offering them a reward if they can spot your bird's location. Ask small children not to try and catch your bird, explaining that they may hurt or frighten the bird or get bitten. Give them a pillowcase and ask them to throw it over the bird and call you or another adult.
Look for your bird during daylight hours but also right before sunrise and at dusk. This is when birds are the most active, vocal and looking for food.
If your cockatiel is roosting in a fixed location, if you can't coax it down with food, wait until it's dark to retrieve it. Cockatiels can not see in the dark. So your bird doesn't fly away and get hurt, use a net to catch it.
Contact the police, pet shops, veterinarians, and animal shelters in your town and in every town in your county. A cockatiel can fly a great distance and may leave your town.
Make flyers with your bird's photograph. Place them around your town, in other towns, in grocery stores, libraries and other public places. Ask schools to post them on bulletin boards so kids can help look.
Put ads in newspapers, giving a complete, detailed description of your bird. Many people do not know what a cockatiel is. Include your bird's name and any songs or phrases that he knows, recognizes  or responds to with a particular behavior or sound.
Register your lost bird in  "Lost and Found Bird Hotlines". A few  are listed below.


The heartbreaking reality is that lost birds are not always found. Some fly so far away from home, that your fliers, posters or classified ads are never seen.  If your bird is found by children, they end up convincing their parents into letting them keep it. Adults who find lost birds may think that the owner was negligent by allowing the bird to get loose. They end up keeping the bird thinking they will provide better care. Birds can also die from harsh outdoor elements, predators and lack of food and water. Don't ever give up hope, because many lost cockatiels are found by their owners the same day or several weeks later. 

If  you find a lost bird, please don't buy a cage and think "Finders Keepers." Birds are intelligent creatures and they bond with their human families. They are somebody's pet and they miss their human families. The families of lost birds are heartbroken and they desperately want their birds back home. Please help to reunite the bird you found with their human family by placing a free ad in our lost and found classifieds  below. 

Lost and Found Bird Hotlines
Cockatiel Cottage Lost and Found Birds Classified
Bird Lost and Found Hotline
Lost, Stolen, Found Bird Alert Hotline
Lost, Lost & Found Dot Com
911 Parrot Alert
Parrot Alert
Parrot Alert
Avian Rescue Corporation


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