If you belong to a bird club, please ask your newsletter editor to
publish this. If your club holds a bird fair, please distribute it. If
you know of someone who has lost a bird, please send it along. If you
have a personal web page, please put this up. If you are a breeder,
please include this in your educational packet. Please forward this to
other lists. If you know of lost/found web pages, please ask them to put
Additional suggestions from Scott Lewis are included.
Birds can live for days-weeks months, and even years after an escape.
Never give up.
- Always look for a grey BEFORE sun-up while it is still dark, and
sundown. They are the most vocal then, and the most active.
- Day 3 is when they get hungry and try to come in for food, they will
to just about any one at that time if they are tame.
- ALWAYS have a recording of your grey when he is playing and having
most fun. Play this recording intermittently as you look for him.
- Throw food on rooftops. Place a small cage on the roof of your house,
anyone's where they grey has been seen.
- Tell people to put him in a pillow case, and have friends carrying
pillowcases while looking, or small cages. Sometimes greys are caught by
inexperienced holders and they don't know what to do with them.
- Water hoses do work if you can spray him shortly after his escape.
him with as much water as you can all at once. He is heavy from not
exercise, and the water throws him off enough to ground him for a bit.
not drench just before dark unless you are sure you can get him.
- If possible contact organizations 50 miles away. Sometimes people
them while traveling and go home with them. Greys can also get that far
- Give all the children in the neighborhood a buck and tell them there
more if they can locate your bird. Kids tell on people that are hiding
also. (per Mattie Sue Athan) Police will not help you retrieve a bird from someone else's home.
You have to plan that one very carefully if they decide they want to
- Have someone watch the bird at all times if he is spotted and you
to go for help.
- If you try to climb the tree, it often times scares them up. A long
branch may be better to coax him onto. Use your head here. Raise his
to where he is.
- Have friends and family miles away in other cities watch the lost
- If he is roosted near dark, wait until dark before trying to
him. They don't fly well at night, and they don't want to fly, but make
sure you don't miss. You may use a high powered flashlight to
momentarily blind the bird while
another person nets or grabs the bird.
- If sighted, keep the mobs of people away, and let the owner try and
coax him down.
Have your helping friends in tall trees or on roof tops to watch where
goes if he takes off. You NEED spotters prepared and willing.
Additional Information/Comments by Scott Lewis
I might add to all this that if the bird is hanging
around but refuses to go in a cage or allow itself to be caught, a
Have-A-Heart chipmunk trap may do the trick. This is a small live trap.
We recaptured a hawk headed parrot with
one. With this sized bird, which is roughly the same size as a Timneh
anything larger will not work because the bird can go in and out with
impunity. We know this from experience. After watching in total
as the hawk head repeatedly walked in and out of a Have-A-Heart squirrel
trap to eat, we got a chipmunk trap. She went in, she was back.
Place the trap high in the area the bird is frequenting. Remember that
height equals safety to parrots and most other birds. Be sure to check
frequently. If the bird is caught, it may panic. And, there is a good
chance you will catch native birds, which won't appreciate it a damned
I have released a few extremely irate grackles and such.
For little birds, such as lovebirds and budgies, a sparrow trap works
We had a black-masked lovebird show up at the aviary. I suppose it was
attracted by our birds' calls. Given that lovebirds can carry PBFD, to
which all our birds are very susceptible, two vets told me to get a
gun. I didn't have the heart to do it. But, I caught him in a sparrow
within a half hour after I set it.
Finally, a hose does work, but don't be shy. The idea is to totally soak
the bird in a big hurry to the extent that it can't fly. If you're shy
the hose, you will simply watch a damp bird fly away.