How can this baby be so sweet? Today and yesterday he took a nap like this. I’m amazed of how cuddly he is, since the 1st day, as if he had known me since he was born. The man at the pet shop told me he is about 3 months old.
I got some new toys for him, Keiji and Puchi, but I’ll give them… after the nap… zzz…
There have been a few incidents of missing parrots recently, and if an accident does happen (and it is wiser to assume it will and be prepared then to confidently assume it won’t);
“Do I have every possible preventative measures in place?” “What would I do if my birds ever flew away?”
The first thing to think about is prevention.
Before getting your bird out of the cage -
Are all the doors, windows shut or if left open, the door to that room is closed?
Are people in the household aware of the bird being out of its cage and take care when opening and shutting doors?
When taking your bird outside-
Is you bird properly restrained in its cage or carrier, with clips on the door, feed holders and any other openings.
If not restrained to a cage is your bird wearing a harness? Fitted properly and with training, securely holding onto a harness with prevent your bird flying away.
Taking them outside for an hour whilst monitoring them will also accustom them to the surroundings. It will make them familiar with being in the outdoors, especially if their escape is the first time they’ve been outside in a while.
There is a huge MYTH around when you clip your birds wings they have no ability to fly at all. Clipped birds still have the ability to catch lift from a wind current and get caught into a tree. Don’t be niave and take risks by not restraining your parrot when outside (unless free flight training has been taught, but where I am birds of prey deter me from ever doing so)!
Is your bird trained in target training? Particularly descent target recall. When birds are out in the open, flying downwards from a tree is a lot more tricky with fear of landing and being outside already added into the equation. You want to know you have a confident chance of targeting your bird back to its cage or a portable perch in a sticky situation.
If your bird talks, teach it to talk or whistle on command so if you ever loose sight of it you can hear it from a distance.
Get your bird microchipped! Or have an identifiable leg band around its ankle (yes this is not a desired option but its better than nothing).
Create a list of your local vets, pet stores and animal sanctuaries for reference. Prepare Lost Bird fliers (preferably use a photo that will make your parrot undesirable to someone who wants to keep it for themselves; aka destructive behaviours) so you’re ready to post them around if you ever need too!
Now we have the preventative measures in place; What to do when your bird escapes?
Make lots of noise when your bird flies off so it can gather its surroundings and know where to fly back to your after it lands.
Keep your eye on your bird. Check where it has flown to and how tired it looks to give you an estimate as to where it lands.
Get outside and actively look and call your bird. The first 24hrs are crucial in getting your bird back.
Check the area for wild birds, particularly birds creating a lot of noise. This is generally a sign there is an intruder in the area (that intruder being your bird).
Look in trees, not just for the figure of your bird but any abnormal rustling leaves or branches.
If you have more than one bird, place the other outside. It’s calls will be familiar to your lost bird and should encourage your escape bird to fly to its cage.
It’s highly unlikely you will find your bird in the dark, so go inside and have a rest, post fliers on social media sites.
The next day post fliers in letter boxes, around the neighbourhood, at local supermarkets, pet stores, vets, sporting fields and community notice boards.
Drive around with the flier on your back car window.
If its been a while since the advert has been originally dates, put “still missing” under the title.
If you have a pet bird who looks like a native bird around the area, contact wildlife rescues so they know if a ‘tame’ appearing bird is brought into them to contact you.
The important thing is don’t give up hope.
There have been scenarios where people find their bird days, weeks, even months after its lost.
A couple of rare pictures of Daisy, the camera-dodging Great Dane. And her bestest friend in the whole wide world Lonnie.
Lonnie LOVES Daisy. He flies up on the bed to be next to her and sits right on her foot. Daisy always gives me a ‘help’ look cause then she’s afraid to move cause she doesn’t want to step on him, she knows her size. But he doesn’t notice, and he’ll snuggle close to her and preen her whiskers and chirp softly to her like she’s his giant baby chick.
Just adding, Daisy is 3 years old and has been around birds since she was 5 months of age and was always supervised around them. Never let your pets mix un-supervised.
'Oh they’re fine they’ll be friends!’ The first time Daisy met Flora she picked her up in her mouth cause she thought she was a toy and I flipped out. Flora was on my knee and fluttered to the floor and the pup pounced. Three years later, Flora can land on Daisy’s FACE (and has by accident, hanging off her jowls) and Daisy won’t snap at her, She’ll just sit there like an old dog and set her down. She’s used to them, sniffs them occasionally, but ignores them most of the time. I still supervise her and Lonnie just 'cause he’s so small and stupid and I don’t want Daisy to jump up and step on the little puff if say, the doorbell rings and gets her excited.
In memory of Beanie who would be 3 years in March. May my precious bean rest in peace.
So the reason I’m bringing this story up is due to the importance of proper birdcare and responsible ownership, that STARTS in responsible rehoming from the person selling the bird.
An all excited, young and niave Bec went into a bird store one day seeking a lovebird which I found on the internet.
They hadn’t yet been weaned, and after picking the one I wanted from about 15 different cute faces, the salesman said you better take it now they will go super fast. Being eager and easily persuaded I went back 3 days later, he gave me some hand rearing mix, told me to keep him in a box for another week, just feed it seed and the hand rearing mix.
I bought beanie home that day.
No refunds. Something seemed a little skeptical at that moment.
Day 1 - I started noticing he wasn’t taking to his food very well, finally looked at the packet and read it was insectivore mix…… For a parrot? Was this guy serious? I thought it seemed off when he said “oh this one will do”.
I basically starved him that night and went to change the food the next day.
Day 2 - was at my work/volunteer job at a vet and mum called to say beanie was looking flat, so she drove 20 mins to get him checked out. Turns out he had early stages of hypothermia and we fixed him up with some good ol’ heat lamp and parrot rearing mix. He perked up, jumped out of his box bright as Gold.
Day 3 - It was a warm sunny day, so left him in the sun in a cosy hut and went to classes. Came back home and mum said he was flat again. As he started to go down hill quickly I realised hypothermia had set in again, more.extreme this time. After trying to keep him warm near a heater plus body warmth nothing improved so rushed him to the nearest vet where he was pronounced DOA.
My heart tore to a million tiny shreds as I kept blaming myself for everything that went wrong.
Please if anything trust the breeder you get your birds from. Do your research. Don’t make decisions too lightly. I should have known hand rearing a bird would be risky, not easy at all, especially for my first time. Dont do it unless you’re experienced.
A good, caring breeder or rehoming place will wait until the bird is weaned, be it hand raised or parent raised - not just in it to make a buck.
I then found Louies independent lovebird breeder and got him by default, he was weaned, 4 months old, completely on solid foods and healthy. Updating the breeder on his progress, she is so happy he went to a good home. She cares about where her birds go and ensures they will live happy and fulfilled lives.
Unlike the shmuck who sold me precious beanie. In general I don’t recommend buying from pet shops, and this story is only part of the reason why.
Please know what you’re going into before making a purchase, make sure you are comfortable with the service the breeder provides you and that it’s coming from a healthy home.
February 14, 2015 - Fischer’s Lovebird (Agapornis fischeri)
These lovebirds are found in Tanzania, in a small area south of Lake Victoria. They eat seeds and fruit, and are sometimes considered a crop pest, flocking in large groups to eat maize and millet. Nesting in tree or building cavities, or among palm fronds, these lovebirds use twigs and bark to construct their nests. Pairs form close bonds and males feed the females while nesting. Fischer’s Lovebirds are fairly common in captivity, where a variety of color mutations have been bred. They are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN due to trapping for the bird trade.