Ask a Vet: Lost Cockatiels and How to Help Find Them

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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.

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.