Birds can make wonderful family pets and beautiful talking or singing companions, but if they manage to escape they can travel quite a long way from home in a short period of time, making it difficult for worried owners to know where to start looking. Upon finding someone else’s pet bird, it’s important to take the right course of action to protect it from wildlife and other domestic animals, and to help facilitate a reunion with its owner.
Securing a lost bird
The main place people come across a lost bird is in their backyard, where the pet has stopped to rest and find nourishment. Pet birds are usually easily identifiable by their exotic species, bright colours or ability to talk, and will generally respond to overtures that involve food and water. Catching them, however, can be a bit tricky, given their capacity for flight.
If you have a spare cage handy, you may be able to lure the bird into it with food, otherwise you may need to capture the bird and transfer it to a cage or animal carrier by first covering it with a blanket. If using a blanket, try to approach the bird from the front, or it will sense danger from behind and fly off. Firmly but gently hold the bird’s wings flush with its body until you can transfer it to the cage or carrier, taking care to stay clear of its beak. If you have a bird of your own, keep it separate, as the lost bird may have picked up an infection on its travels. Remember birds can bite so take necessary precautions to prevent injury.
"Archie was just a block away where he flew into the door of a house. He did injure himself badly but he is alive, back home and slowly becoming his old self. The people took him to our local vet that suspected it was Archie but checked the alerts he received and could confirm it was him"
Jaco - Kellyville, NSW
Finding the owner
While most birds can be microchipped, and many larger or rarer birds are, the practice is generally less common for winged pets than for dogs and cats. To check for a microchip, take the bird to your local vet who will be able to conduct a scan. If a microchip is found and the details are correct, the owner will be contacted and arrangements can be made for collection.
If the bird isn’t microchipped, you can try to find the owner through the advanced Australia-wide network of Lost Pet Finders. First, look through our Pet Gallery to see if a lost bird matching the description of the one you have found has been registered. If it has, you can easily contact the owner and give them the happy news. If not, you can create a listing and Lost Pet Finders will set to work trying to locate the owner with maximum practicality and efficiency.
Lost Pet Finders utilises a broad network of pet professionals, volunteers and members of the general public all across Australia, which is particularly effective for reuniting birds and their owners, given the distance a bird can travel before it is found. Lost Pet Finders also targets the public through diverse methods of communication, including telephone, SMS, email and social media, to ensure pet alerts have real impact, and generate as many happy endings as possible.
You may also want to search for lost and found birds