Sunday, October 23, 2011

Found an escaped budgie?

When you find an escaped budgie, the first thing you have to do is to stay calm. Wrong decisions are easily made in exciting or stressful situations. You have to know that you are at this moment probably the only one who can save the life of the lost bird.

Photo © fairy-wren
Below you can find a list of things you should or should not do:
  • very important: do not bring your own budgies in contact with the lost budgie. You don't know where the budgie came from. It might have been infected with diseases, so first it needs to be seen by a vet. Even if the bird looks completely healthy, you shouldn't take the chance. Some diseases are strong enough to root out a whole flock of birds, and when you notice they're sick, it's often too late.
  • give the poor bird food and water. Lost budgies are often unable to find any food or water because they are only driven forward by panic until they are too exhausted to fly.
  • observe the budgie: does it behave or smell strangely? Is it wounded? Is there anything abnormal about the plumage around the vent (wet, sticky feathers or parasites?). You could inspect the bird's droppings if you get the chance. Diarrhoea for example is very dangerous for budgies.
  • Remember that budgies will try to behave at their best when they are in the wild. They do this to show any possible predator that they are strong, even though they feel bad.
  • If you are able to catch the bird, or pick it up, you should take it to the veterinary. Take some notes about the budgie's behaviour, any details that can be useful to the vet.
After the budgie has been checked by the veterinary, you might want to check for ads in the paper or on the internet about escaped budgies. If you choose to place an ad yourself, you should also do it online, because I think this is the best way for people to find out these days. Budgies are excellent flyers and they can cover long distances in a short time, so it won't suffice to put up a notice with "Budgie found" on the bulletin board from the local supermarket.


  1. My Jewel escaped over a year ago, I really should have checked the Internet for light green parakeets. Oh well, it's too late now. Tiger is happier with Buttercup.

  2. .Mangledaftermath.
    I have to write something here, having just found an escaped budgie... my own!. (Okay, he didn't escape, he lost his bearings in the dark,, and technically someone else found him) - but i like the wise approach suggested here by Bika, sympathetic to Felice though.
    It may be just me, but i've learned conflicting information about how far a lost budgie can travel. The two biggest factors will sound obvious but hey, it's never a fixed radius...
    1- Environmental factor.
    How's the weather?, terrain?, potential predators?. Extreme cases certainly raise the odds against any lost pet, and indeed a budgie. They're bright, almost fluorescent colours don't really help them into a pair of sneakers either (lol).
    2 - Condition.
    This may aswell have been number 1, oh well,, maybe both are as critical to evaluate as each other. Some budgies are cage bound from birth up until the escape, or 'mishap',, so not travelling far in each stint of flight. This has it's pro's and cons, like 'clipped wings'. I would prefer my pet bird to flee from dangers brilliantly, but that needs building up,, and ofcoarse leads to longer stints of unguided blind flight - thus a larger search radius.
    Approaching the math any which way you like, pet budgies have an expected survival bracket from dismal - to 72 hours (3days). This is largely based from immediate dangers - to inadequate foraging skills.
    ...My little budgie (Borks) is 18months old, and has been free to fly since he first flapped his wings,, as healthy as they come. He managed to survive 116 hours (nearly 5 full days) before being discovered at a playground / park 50kilometers away. Through Australian scrub land / wilderness / predators, and juuuust on the other side of a capital city. (thats 31 miles, IF he flew straight there). Exposed to all the elements (wind, sun, rain) fluctuating between 11 - and 31 degrees C,, (or 52 - and 88 degrees F). He was found in a critical situation, and would not have survived another night.
    So... if you have the opportunity to rescue a budgie, (or any animal really), go for it!.
    Borks may be as lucky as hard nosed, now warm, safe,, and recovering thanks to complete strangers.

  3. Hi I have just found a small budgie yesterday being attacked by other birds in the area, it looks very young, I caught it easily as it must have been exhausted, problem is I've keeped it in a quit place covered up now for about a day and night I gave it some store bought seeds and water but it's not eating or drinking what do I do please