How to Find a Lost Parrot in 5 Simple Steps

Key takeaways

There are 5 main steps to take to improve your chances of finding your missing bird.

These include telling your neighbors, using social media, leaving their cage outside, physically searching for them, and reporting them missing.

We explore each step in detail to ensure you have the best chance of finding your bird before taking a look at the most common reasons why parrots fly away from their owners.

Quick Navigation

  1. Key takeaways
  2. 5 Steps to find a lost bird
  3. Top 3 reasons why birds fly away
  4. FAQs
  5. Final thoughts

5 Steps to find a lost bird

If your parrot flies away, you can be left feeling hopeless. After all, they're an animal that evolved to fly long distances. However, a lost parrot can be recovered.

1. Tell your neighbors

A lost parrot is usually quite easy to spot. But they may have flown quite a distance exploring, so it's worth spreading the message to as many neighbors as possible so they can also keep an eye out.
You can do this going door to door, but if you want to reach thousands of people quickly, then start a PetRadar search. We use social media advertisements to notify over 4000 people in your area about your missing pet.
All you need to do is select the radius of your search area. Then, we'll create digital missing pet posters and distribute them as sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram.
This means when your neighbors are scrolling through their feeds, a post about your missing parrot will pop up. From here, they can report a sighting, send it to a friend, or save it for later.
By keeping an eye on the sightings, you can better understand the location of your bird.
Nieghbors spotting a lost parrot

2. Use social media

While you can tap into the power of social media ads with PetRadar, you can also join local WhatsApp and Facebook groups set up to help communities communicate.
These can be a great way to provide lots of information to lots of relevant people. In your posts, make sure you include:

Images: Include a few images from different angles. Make sure they show memorable features or markings of your parrot so they are recognizable.

Additional information: A description of your bird and their temperament will help your neighbors know where to look.

A reward: It's completely optional to offer a reward for the return of your parrot. However, it can be a good motivator for people to get out and start searching.

A photo of a lost parrot on a phone

3. Leave their cage outside

Parrots have natural homing abilities, and as long as they haven't flown too far and become lost, they'll be able to navigate their way back to you.
To help attract them and capture them when they do return, leave their cage outside. Be sure to include food and water, as they'll likely struggle to find supplies on their own.
Expert Insight: Familiar objects and treats will be attractive to them. Keep an eye on the cage as the sun begins to set, as this is when they instinctively return to familiar surroundings (source).
A lost parrot flying back to the porch of a house

4. Physically search for them

If your bird hasn't returned home, you will need to physically search for them. When a parrot is outside of their comfort zone, they will hide at the highest point possible. This means you need to search anywhere that has high trees or tall buildings, like:





Follow these tips while you search:

Bring their favorite toys and treats

Call their name

If you locate them, don't bring a big group with you. They are more likely to come to you if you are alone

When a parrot is outside of their comfort zone, they will hide at the highest point possible.

A pet owner looking for their lost parrot

5. Report them missing and make missing pet posters

As we mentioned, birds have the ability to fly very long distances. If they are spooked or scared, their 'fight or flight' instinct may be triggered, and they'll flee.
It's unrealistic to search on your own for miles. This is when reporting them missing can be very helpful. The more shelters you call, the more likely you are to receive reported sightings.
Use the following checklist:

Veterinary practices

Animal rescue shelters

Wildlife centers

Making and distributing missing pet posters can help spread the message and encourage people to actively look for your best bud. However, they can be time consuming. So, instead of making your own, just download PetRadar's free, personalized flyer.
Instead of having to provide personal information, like your contact number, we use unique QR codes. This means people can simply scan the code with their phone, and they'll be taken to the listing of your lost parrot on our website. Here, they can report a sighting or leave a comment.
Top Tip: Using a QR code means you don’t have to make any private contact details personal, helping you avoid prank calls and misuse of your data.

Top 3 reasons why birds fly away

We can feel like terrible owners if our birds fly away from us. However, no matter how well trained your parrot is, there is always a chance they'll want to fly away.

1. Curiosity

Birds are naturally inquisitive creatures because of their intelligence. Their need for mental and physical stimulation means they are often curious. However, if they aren't getting enough attention, they may choose to explore on their own.
To prevent this from happening: Make sure your parrot has specific toys meant for birds. Puzzles and foraging toys will keep your bird entertained for hours!
A parrot leaving their cage to explore the outside

2. Fear

Like other pets and humans, your parrot can experience fear. When they do, their fight or flight instinct, or 'survival mode' can kick in. This means they will be focused on flying away and finding somewhere isolated and secluded until they feel safe again.
Things that can spark this behavior include:

Loud noises

Loud music

Construction work

Lots of visitors

To prevent this from happening: Respect your parrot's environment and be considerate of how you act near them. If you are planning on playing loud music or starting construction work, keep them secure in their cage.
A parrot flying away in fear

3. Neglect

Owning a bird is just like owning a cat or a dog. They need care and attention in order to be happy and healthy. If they are neglected, their fight or flight instinct will be triggered, and they will fly away to find a safer situation. Examples of neglect include:

Not feeding them enough

Not cleaning their cage enough

Not giving them enough love and attention

Leaving them alone for long periods of time

To prevent this from happening: Set out a specific time every day to check in on your parrot. Ideally, you will be doing this more than once a day, but if you have a schedule, you'll know you'll never forget. During this time, check their cage, food, water, and general wellbeing to make sure they are happy.
A lonely parrot left in a cage


What to do if you find a lost parrot?

If you have found a lost parrot, you should report it to the appropriate services. This includes animal shelters, wildlife centers, and veterinary practices.

How do you call back a lost parrot?

To call back a lost parrot, you should use words that they will recognize. This can include their name, a recall word used in training, or a word that signals it's treat time. If this isn't working, try playing parrot noises from your phone.

How do you find a parrot?

To find a parrot, you need to tell your neighbors, use social media, and physically search for them. Whilst you are doing this, it's important you report them as lost to wildlife centers, animal shelters, and your veterinary practice.

Will my parrot come back?

If your parrot is happy at home, then it's likely they will return. Most parrots will instinctually return to familiar places when the sun begins to set.

How do you trap a lost parrot?

To trap a lost parrot, you can place their cage outside your home. Fill it with food, water, toys, and treats. Alternatively, you could use a humane trap and leave it where you last saw your pet.

Do parrots fly away from their owners?

Yes, many parrots do fly away from their owners. There are some common reasons for this, which include neglect, fear, and curiosity.

Final thoughts

No matter what species of bird you own, when they get lost or fly away from the house, it can be heartbreaking. Not knowing whether they'll come back or if they're safe can play on our minds, and we can feel hopeless.
If you're currently looking for a lost bird, start a PetRadar search. We've already reunited 8000+ pets with their families, so you know you're in good hands!

Written by

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Lauren Jeffries

In this blog, I combine my two areas of expertise: pets and writing. I share my personal experiences alongside plenty of animal behavior research to help owners look after their pets. I have always lived with furry friends and am now a loving cat mum to two orange kitties.

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