Cockatiel Flew Away – Will It Come Back? What To Do?

If you did not clip your bird’s wings and your cockatiel flew away, this guide will tell you what you can do – immediately as well as when time goes by.

Losing your pet is indeed a very frightening and stressful situation.

Cockatiel owners have to always make sure their feathered friend is secure in its cage or room and cannot fly away.

However, things don’t always go as planned, and sometimes pet birds manage to escape.

Finding a lost bird is difficult, but all your chances lie in keeping a level head and taking quick action.

If your cockatiel has flown away, read on to learn how you can get it back. I’ll try my best to guide you through it and help you find your bird again.

Cockatiel Flew Away

Do Cockatiels Come Back if They Fly Away?

Once your cockatiel has flown away, it may or may not come back.

On one hand, it might be too overwhelmed with the feeling of being free and fly far away without realizing it.

On the other, the bird might also get scared of the unfamiliar outdoor environment and try to return home.

Well-tamed cockatiels that form a strong bond with their owners are more likely to come back.

Remember, your pet has never seen your home from the air. It may not be able to find its way back even if it wants to.

So, while escaped cockatiels can return, don’t count on it and begin the search immediately.

How Fast Can Cockatiels Fly?

Further adding to your worries, the cockatiel is a strong flier. They can reach speeds of almost 40 miles per hour.

Especially if your cockatiel panics after escaping, it might pick up speed and fly away quickly.

How Far Can a Cockatiel Fly in One Day?

On average, wild cockatiels cover 30 miles a day.

While that’s quite far, thankfully, a domesticated cockatiel that has never flown outside likely won’t be able to cover such a distance.

Besides, cockatiels tend to secure themselves in a place to stay hidden from predators.

As the initial adrenaline rush of the escape dies down, the bird will probably settle down on a nearby tree or pole.

Cockatiels won’t fly off very far immediately.

There’s a chance that you might find your escaped cockatiel near your home if you take quick action.

How To Find a Cockatiel That Flew Away?

As hard as it might be, you should try to calm down and think logically to figure out how to find your lost bird. Here are some ideas that might help.

Check the vicinity immediately

Start by checking the area around your home for your avian chum.

Call out to your family members and neighbors to join you in the search – the more hands on deck, the better.

The bird probably won’t stick around for long, so every second is precious.

Check the trees and potential perches around your home, examining them from every angle.

Keep in mind that birds can easily hide amidst the leaves of tall trees.

Call out to your bird

Cockatiels are highly intelligent birds and can recognize familiar voices and words.

Walk around the neighborhood calling out to your pet by its name or repeating phrases that it might be familiar with.

It would act as a beacon and draw the bird’s attention. Playing music that’s frequently played at home and loved by your cockatiel can help too.

If you spot your bird, try to attract it by calling out familiar names and words

List your cockatiel as missing

If you fail to locate the bird, your next step should be to list it as missing so people can help you search for it.

Put up posters and/or banners with the cockatiel’s picture and your contact details in and around your area.

You may also take it a notch higher by putting up ads in local newspapers.

Offering a reward for the finder might incentivize people (especially children) to look for your feathered friend and alert you if they find it.

Seek help in online communities

Apart from the conventional way of putting up missing pet signs, you should also spread the word online.

Post about your lost bird on your personal social media pages, as well as local online communities.

Check if there’s any online community for rescuing or finding lost pets in your locality.

Word spreads fast on the internet, and it can significantly increase your chances of being reunited with your beloved cockatiel.

Other things you can do to locate a lost cockatiel

If possible, alert bird spotters in your area and request them to contact you if they spot your cockatiel.

Get in touch with bird clubs, veterinary offices, animal shelters, and lost and found centers too. If your bird somehow happens to end up with them, they will let you know.

Getting your cockatiel to come to you

It’s not uncommon for bird owners to lose their escaped pets forever, even after locating them.

Once you spot your cockatiel somewhere, you need to get it to come to you.

Unfortunately, this might be difficult as a scared bird would only fly farther away.

Here are a few things that you can do after locating and spotting your feathered friend.

If you spot your bird somewhere, make sure it sees you coming from afar.

Make sure the bird sees you

Firstly, your pet needs to notice and recognize you.

Cockatiels are always wary of strangers and might easily get frightened if approached by unknown people.

Walk in the open and make sure your face is visible to the bird as you try to grab its attention.

I’d advise putting on bright clothes as you approach your escaped cockatiel.

They’re attracted to bright colors and will be more likely to take an interest. Calling out to the bird, as I mentioned earlier, should help too.

Bring the cage

A cockatiel unfamiliar with the outdoor environment would look for a familiar place – a place it considers safe.

If you spot the bird, bring the cage as close to it as you can.

Put some large, visible pieces of bird food (especially treats) in the cage to lure your feathered friend into it.

Have someone with a towel or a bird net ready to rush in and prevent the bird from escaping again once it enters the cage.

If possible, rig the cage with a quick-release trap door. This will reduce the time window for the bird to attempt an escape.

The cage can also be of help immediately after losing the bird if you haven’t spotted it yet.

Load it with your cockatiel’s favorite food and toys, and place the cage outside the door or window that the bird escaped through.

If it’s still nearby, it might notice the cage and come to it.

Rig the cage with its favorite things to attract the cockatiel back

Be patient

Lastly, be patient with your feathered friend. You need to understand that your cockatiel might be in a stupor, too afraid to fly down.

Don’t try to rush it by shouting or approaching too fast. Give the bird some time to calm down and realize that it needs to get to you.

Also, keep in mind that captive birds that have never flown outside aren’t great at downward landing.

The cockatiel might be simply too afraid to try and fly down to you. Talk to the bird soothingly and lure it with treats to motivate it.

My Cockatiel Flew Away Will It Survive?

Since cockatiels are inherently wild birds, your pet might be able to survive in the wild. However, there are no guarantees.

While some escaped cockatiels last several years in the wild, others may perish rather fast.

A tamed cockatiel begins to lose its survival instincts. It wouldn’t be as adept at spotting and escaping predators as a wild cockatiel.

The bird may survive if it finds a place with enough food and water to settle down.

Sometimes, escaped pet cockatiels may even approach strangers and try to settle down in their homes.

How Can I Take My Cockatiel Outside Safely?

When taking your cockatiel outside, you need to be particularly careful that it can’t escape and fly away.

Keep the bird restrained in a cage or carrier.

You may also use a bird harness to secure the bird without on your shoulder or arm, but only if the cockatiel is comfortable with it.

I wouldn’t advise taking your cockatiel outside without clipping its wings in the first place.

Clipped wing feathers prevent cockatiels from flying too high and covering large distances, making it harder for them to get away.

Make sure to clip your cockatiel’s wings before taking it out with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you get a cockatiel back when it flies away?

Getting a cockatiel back when it flies away can be challenging but not impossible.
The best way to get your bird home safely is to contact your local animal shelters or wildlife rehabilitators since they commonly receive birds that have flown away from their owners.
Additionally, you should post flyers in the local area with a picture of the bird and your contact information, so anyone who has seen the bird can contact you directly.
Taking these steps may help you locate your pet quicker and bring them back home.

Do cockatiels birds come back if they fly away?

Whether or not a cockatiel will come back if it flies away depends on the individual bird and its natural instinct to return home.
Many cockatiels may be able to find their way back home, but this isn’t guaranteed.
Additionally, cockatiels who are raised as pets may not have the same homing instincts and, even if they try to locate their owners, may fail to do so due to unfamiliar surroundings.

How long can a cockatiel survive in the wild?

A cockatiel can survive in the wild for up to 10 years or more, depending on environmental conditions, food availability, and predators.
In most cases, wild cockatiels typically have shorter lifespans than their captive counterparts.
Furthermore, a wild cockatiel is at risk of predation from birds of prey or cats, making it difficult for them to reach the 10-year milestone.
If a pet cockatiel does find its way into the wild, it is more likely to be predated because it does not have the skills to defend itself.

How far can cockatiels hear?

Cockatiels have a very keen sense of hearing and are able to hear sounds from up to 6 miles away in the wild.
They have excellent auditory acuity, able to distinguish between pitches, and detect ultrasonic sound.
This is why they often respond loudly to whistles, musical tunes, and other environmental noises.
Despite their sensitivity to noise, cockatiels are quite quiet compared to some other birds, making them a popular pet among bird owners.

Wrap Up

As a responsible bird owner; you should keep your cockatiel’s wings clipped and maintain a double door boundary when letting it out of its cage.

The double door boundary concept is simple – shut external doors before you open the internal ones.

However, if your feathered friend does get away, you now know what to do.

Photo of author

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