Every budgie owner’s biggest fear is losing their pet. You want to keep them safe and away from danger. But how do you keep your flying friend from flapping away? And if they do get lost, can they find their way back home? It’s easy to think that budgies unfamiliar with the outside world will not be able to navigate home – but is that really the case?
Though every bird is different, it is possible for your beloved budgie to find their way home, but ultimately, it’s up to you to help them. We’ve made a list to help you get your budgie home safely as quickly as possible.
Do Budgies Know Their Way Home?
There’s No Place Like Home
Whenever a budgie is lost, they are going to be disoriented. It will be even worse for a parakeet that is not used to flying outdoors. The first thing they are going to do is seek out a place where they feel safe. What’s the safest place for your feathered friend? Their home.
Although domesticated parakeets typically lack navigational skills, their desire to seek out a safe space will likely lead them searching for home. Do budgies know their way home? The simple answer is no, at least not on their own. While they might not know how to find home on their own, they will be searching for a familiar place. That familiar place could be their cage, your home, or even you.
One Month One Mile
It’s scary to lose a feathered friend. But there is good news. The greatest chance of bringing your budgie home is within the first month of them being lost. This is because your budgie will likely only travel within a one-mile radius in the first 30 days.
The world is big to a parakeet. Whenever a budgie loses their way, they want to stay as close to home as possible, increasing the likelihood of your budgie finding their way back to you. However, a one-mile radius will be daunting for your small friend, so you will want to increase their chances of returning home.
How Can You Help Your Budgie Find Their Way Home?
Sounds Like Home
Have you ever played a video of parakeets singing? Have you noticed that your budgie would want to sing with the others in the video? Or if your budgie has a cage-mate, have you noticed how they will often chatter back and forth with each other? This is because budgies are social animals. They want to be around others of their kind.
How does this help you get your budgie home safe? While searching for your budgie, it’s recommended to play videos of other parakeets chattering. When you’re at home, open your windows and play a video to let your budgie hear others singing. Your budgie will naturally call to or even fly towards what they’re hearing.
It’s not just the singing of other parakeets that will be alluring to your budgie. If your budgie doesn’t have a cage-mate that means they most often socialize with you! This means your feathered friend is likely to recognize your voice if you call for them. So, while you are out looking, call out your companion’s name and say phrases and words that they will be familiar with. If they can hear you, they are likely to either call back or fly straight to you.
Looks Like Home
Budgies are not just responsive to hearing a familiar voice. If they see something that looks like home, they will want to check it out.
Place a cage filled with some of your budgie’s favorite foods outside. Your budgie will want to come inspect your set up. There are two reasons why your budgie will come looking. One, your budgie will see its cage. Their cage is a safe place for them. When budgies are scared they want to be somewhere they know is safe. The second reason is that after being lost with little scavenging skills, your budgie is going to be hungry. Your parakeet will spot the familiar food and will want to come down to eat.
Phone a Friend
Our last tip is to tell as many people as you can about your missing budgie. We’ve all seen those lost pet signs, and while it might seem silly to make one for your parakeet, you want to spread the word as quickly and to as many people as possible. Tell your neighbors as well as your friends and families that live close by. The more people that know about your lost companion, the more help you can get.
We also recommend sharing some of these tips to your friends that are helping you during your search. For example, have a friend play a recording of parakeets chattering. This way you are not alone in your search for your budgie.
What to do When Your Budgie Comes Home
Visit the Vet
It might seem that your budgie is now out of harm’s way. They’re back home, of course they’re safe, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily the case. It’s important to bring your budgie to their vet right away.
Don’t be ashamed to tell your vet what happened. You likely aren’t the only one who has had a feather friend fly away. By bringing your parakeet to the vet, you’re showing how much you care. Make sure to ask your vet to check your budgie for any signs of injuries or sickness.
It’s not just potential injuries or illness that your budgie is at risk for. There are lots of plants that are poisonous to them. If your budgie was gone for a long time, there’s a chance they may have consumed something that might harm them. Make sure to double check with your vet for symptoms of food poisoning.
Secure Your Home
After you have taken your budgie to the vet and they are cleared, your next step is to secure your home. Having an unsecure home with open entrances to the outdoors is typically how budgies get lost.
Make sure all windows and doors are closed whenever your budgie is out of their cage. If you happen to have a door open, put your parakeet in a safe place where there isn’t the possibility of accidentally escaping again. Examples of a safe and secure space for your budgie is their cage or any room with no open exits.
Why do Budgies get Lost?
One of the biggest reasons as to why your budgie might try to escape is because they are afraid. They could be afraid of either new people or new surroundings.
If your budgie hasn’t been handled before, or if they have been mishandled in the past, there’s a possibility they could be afraid of you. But have no worries. Below we have written tips to help you and your budgie form an unbreakable bond, so this doesn’t happen to you.
If your budgie is perfectly comfortable around you and their environment, there might be another reason they try to get out. They could escape simply in the search of a companion. Budgies are naturally social. They want to mate or build relationships with other budgies. If this is a potential concern of yours, think about adopting a buddy for your budgie.
4 Ways to Prevent Your Budgie from Getting Lost
There are several things you can do to prevent your budgie from getting lost. Our biggest tip is to train them.
Flight training is essential to helping your parakeet feel safe. Having strong wings will help your budgie feel confident in their flight skills. This will help your feathered friend remain calm in potentially scary situations. Having strong flight skills will allow your budgie to simply fly to a higher place in your home for safety rather than completely fly away in a panic.
Handling your budgie is also essential when it comes to prevention. The more you handle your budgie – with care of course – the more comfortable they will become around you.
It’s also important to note that if your budgie has not been handled since their hatch date, it might be difficult for them to become comfortable. However, it is important that your companion feels safe in your presence. So, take the time to help your budgie get used to being held.
Let them Explore
Take the time to help your budgie explore their new home. Parakeets are prey animals, which means they are uncomfortable in new environments. They don’t know what dangers – if any – could be nearby. The best way to keep your budgie calm and help them get used to their new surroundings is to slowly introduce your feathered friend to your home. Let them explore. The more familiar they are with their surroundings, the less likely they are to be afraid.
Although clipping is controversial, many pet owners’ do clip their budgie to ensure that they don’t fly away. Clipping is very stressful on birds and can cause serious injury if done incorrectly. This procedure is usually reserved as a last resort. If you feel this is needed, take your budgie to their vet to get them clipped.