A tamed parakeet that escapes from its cage is usually easy to recapture by tempting it to your finger with millet and putting it back in the cage. However, if the bird is untamed there are a few things you should keep in mind. Start by observing your bird. Try to notice things like its direction and level of flight.
Identifying the Bird
Attempting to recapture a parakeet that has escaped its cage is a challenging task. However, it is not impossible and following a few simple steps can improve your chances of successfully catching the bird.
Start your search for the parakeet as soon as you realize it has escaped, rather than waiting until it is dark outside. This will give you the best chance of locating the bird before it goes to sleep and loses track of you. Go to the area where you last saw the bird in flight and look for it. Pay attention to its level of flight and how tired it looks, as this can help you locate it. If possible, ask a few friends to come with you as they can assist in searching more effectively.
A well-tamed parakeet may be easy to lure back by tempting it with millet on a finger, as long as it has not flown too far away. This method will be more difficult if the bird is untamed.
To determine the gender of a lost parakeet, look for the cere, which is the strip of flesh above the beak. This will take on a color that is distinct from the rest of the bird, and can be used to distinguish male from female. Additionally, a male bird will typically exhibit courtship behavior for a mate, such as bobbing its head and fluffing its feathers, while a female bird will display less elaborate courtship behavior.
Tempting the Bird
The first thing to do is set out a cage and some of the bird’s favourite food. You should also close all the doors in the house – this limits the areas where the escaped bird can fly around, and makes it harder for it to escape again.
A good idea is to re-create the noises of your bird’s home, by playing a recording of the bird chirping or calling its name. This will help entice the bird to come nearer and may even attract it to return back inside.
If the escaped bird is not too far away, you can try and lure it to the cage by placing millet in your hand and calling it. It is likely to land on your finger, being hungry and nervous, and once it does it will be easier to trap.
If the bird is resting on a tree or rooftop, however, it will be much more difficult to tempt it down. It is likely to be exhausted from flying and will feel safe in the perch it has chosen, not to mention it will probably be very stressed. If you don’t succeed in getting the bird to climb into the cage, wait nearby with a garden hose, with the nozzle set midway between a gentle mist and a pressure-washer style stream. Soaking the parakeet with water will make it difficult to fly away again and give you the chance to capture it without further frightening it.
Capturing the Bird
The likelihood of catching an escaped parakeet outside will depend on how close to home it has flown. If the budgie has escaped close to home, say from a window into your garden or a nearby tree, it may be possible to lure him back by holding out millet in your hand or in a small cage rigged with a quick-release trap door latch. Alternatively, you could ask someone with a cherry picker to come over and spray the bird with a powerful hose (as long as they are very careful not to injure him).
If the budgie has flown further afield, the chances of recapture become much slimmer. He will be more likely to seek out high places such as a roof or gutter or a tall tree, where he feels safe and can see what’s going on around him. It is worth attempting to lure him back with the cage and food as mentioned above, but it will take time.
In order to get the budgie used to you, speak to him in a calm manner and gently try to tempt him into your hand. This will have to continue for some days before the budgie is confident enough to land in your hand, at which point you can capture him. Make sure all doors leading to other rooms are closed during this process.
Restoring the Bird
A parakeet is a small bird and its thin body doesn’t produce enough heat to keep it warm in cold environments. As a result, they are not able to endure harsh outdoor temperatures and they can easily die in such conditions. As a result, you should always look for the bird indoors or at least within a short distance of your home as soon as it escapes.
Once you’ve found the bird, try to lure it back to its cage by providing a familiar environment and food. You can do this by placing a feeder filled with millet on the roof of your house or in a tree that the bird can see from its flight position. In addition, you can use a recording of your parakeet’s chirp or that of a house sparrow to entice it back towards your home.
If the bird hasn’t escaped too far from its aviary, you can also tempt it back by putting out a bowl of water and some treats on top of the aviary. However, it is important to remember that parakeets are used to eating seeds and changing their diet too abruptly can be fatal for them. For this reason, you should gradually decrease the amount of seeds and increase the amount of pellets that you are feeding them.