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What to Do If You Find a Lost Bird?

What to Do If You Find a Lost Bird?

You’ve found a bird, it’s loitering outside, and you’re asking the question - what to do if you find a stray bird?

Even if you’re planning on hosting the beautiful bird that is squawking outside your window, you still have a few steps to take before you can bring it in. Namely, you need to identify the bird, find the owner, and then decide what you’re going to do.

You’ll also have to catch the bird in question.

So, what to do if you find a lost bird? Here’s the answer.

How to Tell if it is a Pet Bird?

Before you can go rescuing the bird in question, it’s important to identify whether it is a pet bird or a wild bird. Ideally, wild birds don’t require any rescuing. So, identifying whether it is a pet bird is the first step to rescuing a bird!

There are three main ways to identify a pet bird:


You don’t have to be a bird expert to identify the breed of a bird. A quick google search can do the same for you!

Certain breeds of birds like cockatoos are extremely common in Australia. However, if you spot one on your porch in North America - the chances of it being a pet bird are high.

However, this isn’t a foolproof method. Some birds like parrots aren’t originally native to cities like New York, but they’ve become a common sight.

In such cases, a quick internet search should shed some light.


Unless you’re a Disney princess, the chances of a wild bird landing on your shoulder out of the blue are slim. However, pet birds tend to be more comfortable around humans and trust them.

Wild birds are also unlikely to stick around on your porch or balcony. They will return to their nests once they’re done looking around; a pet bird is probably looking for shelter.


The most obvious way of identifying a pet bird is through identification marks such as leg bands and microchips. A leg band is the most visually identifiable; however, a microchip will have more information regarding the owner.


Tips to Find the Owner

The question, “what to do if you find a lost pet bird,” doesn’t come up very often, but when it does - find the owner is usually the best answer. If the bird doesn’t have a microchip or leg band with information, here are some tips for finding the owner.

● Post signs in your local clinics, stores, and around your neighborhood.

● Don’t forget to place ads in the newspaper (many do this for free)

● Check social media groups and post there as well.

● Reach out to local rescue organizations for help

● Post to lost pet websites.


What To Do If You Find A Lost Bird - Poster Edition

There will be people who contact you asking about the bird that isn’t the actual owners. You want to avoid and weed out these scam calls - which is why you need to take precautions when creating any posters or social media notices.

● When creating a found bird flyer, add details such as your name, phone number, the date you found the lost bird, and the exact breed.

● However, please don’t add any more details about the bird itself. The more details you add, the chances of a scam call seeming real are higher.

● If somebody calls asking for details about the bird, your response should be to ask them about their lost bird.


Catching a Lost Pet Bird

Once you identify a lost bird as a pet, catching them is important. Not just to provide shelter and safety, but for a quick trip to the vet to check for a microchip. Here are some ways you can catch a lost bird!

A word of caution - don’t move on to the harsher methods until you’ve exhausted the simple, gentle manners.

Cage with Food

Leaving out a cage with food is the ideal method. Keep a cage outside near the bird with seeds, nuts, treats, and more. The chances of this lost bird being hungry are high, so it might just take the bait.

Talk to the Bird

Many birds are tamed to the point that talking to the bird and being nice can get them to walk over to you. So, try your best to keep the bird calm!

Attract with a Similar Bird

Sometimes, a familiar face can do the trick. If you know anybody that has a similar breed of bird, ask them for help. Here’s how you would use the bird:

● Keep the similar bird next to an empty cage with seeds, treats, and enticing food in a safe and secure cage.

● Watch from a window to make sure nothing untoward happens.

● Use a tape recording if you can’t find a similar bird for the lost bird to make friends with. You can find it on the internet or ask a local pet store for help.


If the usual methods don’t work, you can attempt to use a net. However, it’s important to use a net meant for the purpose and not a random net around the house.

If you’re not aware of the right way to net a bird, call a professional!


Where to Take a Bird You Found

Once you’ve caught the bird and no other measures you’ve taken have worked, then you can take the lost pet bird somewhere - you don’t have to keep it in your home unless you’re equipped to handle the pet.

Here are some places you can approach:

Bird Rescue Groups: Multiple online rescue groups can give you advice on the lost bird and provide pet bird shelter.

Avian Veterinarian: Reach out to your local bird doctor; they might be willing to keep the bird until you find their owner.

Animal Shelters: Certain animal shelters take in lost birds. They can also help look for the owner!

PawMaw.com: Use this website to find the owner missing bird. You can also create a free flyer when you report your found bird.


There you have it, a full guide on what do you do if you find a lost bird. While keeping the bird as a pet is always an option, it’s important to reach out to the people in your neighborhood to locate the owner first.

Lastly, call a professional if you’re having too much trouble catching the bird, locating the owner, or housing the bird. So, now you know what to do if you find a lost bird.

With that, you’re all set to rescue that bird - what’s your first step?


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