We Found a Lost Parakeet

User Question
I just found a parakeet in the road outside my house a few days ago. We live in Los Angeles. He (or she - she has a purple spot at the base of her beak, and tiny white circles around her nostrils, so we're not sure) was very easy to catch. He let us come right up to him, and ran a little when we got too close, but when I moved slowly, we caught him in a garbage bag and brought him in.

At first we put him in a milk crate, because there was nothing else, but he seemed to be really unhappy in it, so we let him out. Very quickly, he was running around the house, and very active... but later that night we were worried so we caught him again, and brought him into a back room so that he wouldn't escape again. I think we really scared him when we caught him, because he stopped running around, and got a lot more sedate.

We've gotten him a small cage to keep him in - about 1ftx2ft on it's base, x 2ft tall, until we find out if he's got an owner - but no one has responded yet to our signs.

I read that you should take a bird out for an hour or two for exercise each day, but he tends to just fly to the top of the blinds and sit there the whole time.

Sometimes we play your clips of bird sounds for him, and he perks up and chirps back a few times, which makes us feel a little better.

If the owner hasn't called for him by tomorrow we'll probably get a bigger cage, and take him to the vet for a checkup early next week, but I wanted to ask you if you had any advice. We'd love to make him happy and less scared of us, and I'm not sure that taking him out of, and putting him back into the cage is helping (Even when I use a disguise - which I read somewhere online would help.)

Any advice? Thanks so much!

PS - we've named him/her braveheart, because when he was active, he's seemed to run all over the place.

Lisa's Answer
This definitely sounds like a very tame parakeet that somehow escaped. I'd put up signs at the local pet store because often this is where parakeet owners go to get news and to buy a replacement parakeet. But other than that, if you have signs out there isn't much else you can do. With cats and dogs they're often licensed, and they're taken to the vet every year. So you could have called local vets. But most parakeet owners never take their parakeet to the vet, so there's not much else you could do.

If your parakeet has such a small cage, he is probably just happy to be 'free' for his time out of it :) Our parakeets love hanging out on top of the windows, because to parakeets Up is Good. They like to be up high somewhere safe where they can survey their little kingdom. Once he gets more comfortable with his new home he may explore some more. Get some toys for him and put them on top of the cage or on a high table or somewhere else "up" and safe. Parakeets love bells and climbing toys. They're very acrobatic.

That's neat that your parakeet likes chirping along with my parakeet sounds! Parakeets don't like silence, so it's good to play music when you can't be around, so he feels less afraid. If you're not around very much you might even want to get a second parakeet to keep him company, so he has someone to play with. Parakeets are VERY social animals that live in gigantic flocks in the wild.

Getting a parakeet used to you takes time, disguises are probably the opposite of what would help :) They are very, very smart and learn to recognize individual faces. Parakeets that talk can even call people by their names, and they definitely learn to like some people and dislike other people. So get your parakeet to know and trust you, and I'm sure after a few weeks he'll be quite happy in his new home.

Send along a photo sometime! :)

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