My Bird Flew Away, Will it Come Back? Important Answers

A group of neighbors searching for a lost pet bird after it flew away

Key takeaways

It's everyone's worst nightmare when their precious pet escapes their home, but it's important to remember it's possible for them to come home.

Most birds will return home safely after exploring the great outdoors.

However, to increase the chances of this happening, we're offering our top tips for pet owners to find their feathery friends.

Quick Navigation

  1. Key takeaways
  2. Why do pet birds fly away?
  3. Do birds come back?
  4. 4 Ways to find a pet bird that's flown away
  5. FAQs
  6. Final thoughts

Why do pet birds fly away?

No matter how tame your bird is or how strong your bond is, sometimes they will still fly away and become lost. It can be heartbreaking and difficult to understand, so let's take a look at why it can happen so you can prevent experiencing this in the future.

They get spooked

Even if you have trained your bird to go outside with you, they can still get spooked. Any loud noises, strangers approaching, or sudden bad weather can frighten your bird. This will trigger their fight-or-flight instinct, which means they will instinctively fly away to the highest point they can reach.
Here, they can assess the situation and understand whether they are truly in danger or not. Often, once the adrenaline has worn off and they have calmed down, they'll make their way back to you. However, if they become too scared, they may be reluctant to come back.
Top Tip: To prevent this from happening, when you take your bird outside with you, ensure you are in a calm and secure environment.

They are experiencing ongoing stress

If your feathery friend is experiencing ongoing stress and anxiety, they will instinctually fly away to find somewhere safer.
There are many things that can distress pet birds and impact their wellbeing. Some include:

Loud environment: Like every pet, their home and territory is incredibly important to them. It's where they feel safe and secure. If this is a loud and busy environment, they will struggle to feel comfortable.

Loneliness: Birds need company. They need to be interacted with frequently and no left alone in a cage for hours. This can cause anxiety, depression, and can eventually lead to your bird escaping and flying away.

Lack of stimulation: Pet birds, like parrots, are incredibly intelligent. Without enough stimulation through interactive play, toys, and training sessions, they can become bored and stressed. They'll then seek entertainment elsewhere and be more likely to fly away.

Neglect: Neglect can come in many forms. Whether it's withholding food, company, care, or even love. If your bird isn't getting their needs met, they will seek a new environment and a new owner.

If your feathery friend is experiencing ongoing stress and anxiety, they will instinctually fly away to find somewhere safer.

A lonely bird left in its cage alone


Birds are meant to fly. It's hard-wired into them, and it's not something that we can prevent as their owners. After all, imagine if someone tried to stop you from walking? You'd start to feel pretty frustrated!
So, it's natural for your bird to want to fly, even if they have a fantastic home life and are bonded to their owner. Often, if they are flying away just for fun, they'll return to you quickly. This will be their way of seeking safety and comfort in between adventures.
Expert Insight: If your bird takes off as soon as the first opportunity comes along, it may indicate that they aren't getting enough physical stimulation. Try letting them fly around the house or in a secured garden more often.
A pet bird instinctually flying away

Do birds come back?

So, we know why birds may fly away. But now it's time for the important question. Will they come back? It's a question that every pet parent dreads asking.
Birds have a fantastic sense of direction, which means it's very likely they will be able to find their way home. If they have flown very far away, they may become disoriented and struggle to understand their surroundings. This is when your search efforts are most important.
This means that if your bird is happy in your home and you take care of your pet, the chances of it returning to you are very high.

How to lure a pet bird home

To increase these chances further, you can lure them back home. This will help them find their way back to you and give them the nudge of encouragement they need to come home. Try:

Leaving food and water outside: If your pet has been gone for a good few hours, it's likely they're getting a little hungry. Instinctually, they'll be on the lookout for water and food supplies, so leaving some outside your home can attract them.

Leaving their cage open outside: Your bird will likely be looking for some security and safety after the excitement and danger of flying in the wild. Their open cage will be an attractive option, and once they fly in, it'll be easy to close the door and bring them back inside.

Call their name: Your voice will be particularly comforting to your bird, and they'll be able to hear you calling from far away. Try calling their name or specific words you've trained with, like 'treats!'.

Your bird will likely be looking for some security and safety after the excitement and danger of flying in the wild.

A pet bird lured back home after flying away

4 Ways to find a pet bird that's flown away

Rather than relying on your lost bird coming back on their own, you should be actively searching for them. This will significantly increase your chances of finding them safely and as soon as possible.

1. Report them missing

The first step should always be to report them missing. Exotic pet birds will be noticeable, and members of the public are likely to report sightings to certain organizations, so it's essential that they know that they are missing a pet. By using these sightings to focus your search, you'll soon be able to track down their exact location.
Report your bird to:

Local animal shelters: Many shelters will receive hundreds of reported sightings of lost pets every day. This makes them an incredibly useful resource when you're seeking information about your missing bird.

Animal control: Animal control departments will be able to provide you with expert advice and resources to help your search, like humane traps. They'll also be able to help search for your bird and notify you of any sightings that are reported to them.

Veterinarians: Reporting your lost bird to local vet offices and the vet you are registered with is an important step. Alongside this, you should ensure other veterinarians in the area are aware of your missing bird. This means if someone does manage to capture your pet or finds them injured and takes them to a vet, they'll know who to contact.

A lost bird returning home after flying away

2. Spread the message

Your neighbors can make all the difference in the search effort. The more people who are aware of your lost bird, the more likely someone will spot them!
To spread the message, try:

Knocking door-to-door: Sometimes, the most effective way to spread the message is to simply go door-to-door. Having a real conversation, face-to-face with neighbors can encourage them to help in the search effort. You can also hand them photos of your bird so they can identify your pet if they do spot an exotic looking bird in the wild.

Distributing lost pet flyers: Sticking up posters in high-footfall areas can be a fantastic way to grab the public's attention. Download and print PetRadar's free lost pet poster to save some valuable time and get posting!

Posting on social media: Posting in local groups on WhatsApp and Facebook for your neighborhood can be effective in notifying huge numbers of people in the area about your bird. You can monitor comments and shares for reported sightings and follow up on them quickly.

A photo of a lost bird on a phone

3. Start a PetRadar search

When you report your bird missing to PetRadar, we'll create a digital missing pet poster. We'll distribute this poster on Facebook and Instagram as a sponsored post or advertisement that targets and alerts over 4000 people in your area.
This means when your neighbors are scrolling through their social media feeds, an image and description of your lost bird will pop up. From the post, they can report a sighting, send it to a friend, or save it for later. We'll notify you as soon as any sightings are reported and provide you with a personal dashboard where you can monitor the post's reach and engagement.
We also:

Send you an expertly designed missing pet poster: Our personalized posters use a unique QR code, so you don't have to publish your personal contact details and risk getting prank calls or scammed. This means when passers-by see the poster, they can simply scan the code with their phone and be taken to the listing of your missing pet on our site.

Offer constant support and guidance: Our team of animal lovers will be with you every step of the way. We'll send you regular updates on your search, provide articles full of relevant and practical advice, and be there for a chat whenever you need.

List your pet on our website: We'll also create a listing of your lost bird on our website. This means if someone does find them and searches for lost birds in the area, your listing will pop up on search engines, and they'll be able to contact you straight away!

PetRadar's expert team trying to track down a lost bird after they flew away

4. Physically search for them

The most effective way to find your lost bird is to get out and physically search for them. Be sure to check:

High buildings

High fences

Nearby trees


Abandoned buildings

For an effective search, use these top tips:

Bring food and treats with you

Bring their favorite toys

Keep calling their name and making other familiar sounds

Go solo, so you don't frighten or intimidate them

Listen for their call

Neighbors and pet owners searching for a lost bird that flew away


When birds fly away, do they come back?

Often, if your pet bird flies away, they will return to you. However, if they aren't cared for properly or feel distressed or afraid in your home, it's possible they won't return.

How to get your bird back when it flew away?

To get your bird back when they have flown away, you need to be patient and proactive. First, report your lost bird missing. Then, spread the message throughout your neighborhood and physically search for them. You can also leave their cage outside to lure them back home.

What happens if your bird escapes?

If your bird escapes, you need to act quickly to get them back home. They will likely fly to the highest point they can find to feel safer and assess the environment. Report them missing, spread the message to your neighbors, and physically search for them to get the home quickly!

What to do if you find an escaped bird?

If you find an escaped bird, you should report it to local animal shelters, rescue organizations, and animal control as soon as possible. This will help the message get back to the owner. If possible, catching them in a humane trap or cage and taking them to a shelter is even better!

Why do birds fly away?

Pet birds can fly away for many reasons, including fear, distress, and neglect. However, some pet birds can live a very happy life and still fly away because of their instinctual desire to fly.

Final thoughts

If your bird has flown away, the odds are in your favor to get them back home. We hope the tips we've provided will help you.
If your feathery friend is still missing, start a PetRadar search now. We'll do all we can to get them back home, and we'll support you every step of the way.

Written by

Image of the author
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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