If you’re a parrot owner, you might be surprised to find that it doesn’t fly away when it has the opportunity to do so.
So, why don’t pet parrots fly away?
Pet parrots don’t fly away because they prefer to stay with their flocks, feel safe and comfortable in their home environment, or feel full or tired. Some parrots have their wings clipped, making it difficult to fly in the absence of wind. You can also train your parrot to stay close by with treats.
Reasons Why Your Parrot Doesn’t Fly Away
Pet parrots do fly away sometimes, but if you find that your pet doesn’t try to fly away from you, there are several reasons why that could be the case.
Companionship won’t necessarily keep your parrot from exploring, but it will keep them from flying away and not returning.
Parrots are flock animals and appreciate spending time with their human companions. They prefer to remain social and stay where they have a stable flock rather than try to make it on their own.
Safety and Comfort
If your parrot doesn’t fly away when let loose, it could be because it feels safe and comfortable in its environment.
Parrots will fly away when startled by loud noises or when they feel threatened. If your parrot stays put, it’s a good sign that it doesn’t see or hear any threats nearby.
Although clipped wings don’t entirely take away a bird’s ability to fly, it does stunt it, and it might prevent a parrot from flying in the absence of wind.
If you’ve recently adopted your parrot, it could be that its wings have been clipped.
Flying is exercise for a parrot, and a parrot prefers not to exercise on a full stomach.
It’ll take at least an hour after eating for a parrot to feel comfortable flying, and if your parrot isn’t flying away from you, it could be because it’s had a very recent meal.
Your parrot could also decide not to fly away because it’s tired. Flying takes a lot of energy and stamina, and if your parrot has recently expended a lot of energy, it may not fly away, or at least not fly away very far.
It also could be that the parrot is tired because it’s close to bedtime.
What To Do if Your Parrot Does Fly Away
If your parrot flies a short distance away, it’ll probably come back shortly. But it can easily be swept long distances away and have a more challenging time making it home.
Plus, once the parrot becomes tired, it can be an easy find for predators. For these reasons, it’s important to act quickly if your parrot starts flying away.
Call for Your Parrot Loudly
The first thing you should do if your parrot starts flying away is to call for it loudly so that it can hear where you are and know how to get back to you.
Follow your bird and try to keep it within sight, noticing which way the wind is carrying it and taking note of anything that might capture your bird’s attention, and encourage it to fly in another direction.
If you have a recording of your parrot’s call, playing it can encourage it to fly back toward you.
Don’t Make Sudden, Threatening Movements
Ensure that you move stealthily as you approach your parrot, making sure that you come across as a secure landing place.
If your parrot is unfamiliar with its surroundings, it may be feeling uneasy and feel comfortable flying to you, as long as you remain calm and come across as non-threatening.
Offer Your Parrot Its Cage
You can even present your parrot with its cage, taking it outside and leaving the door open to encourage it to return to its perch. For extra incentives, put treats inside the cage.
You may need a special travel cage like the Coziwow Portable Bird Cage to take outside in this case.
Capture Your Parrot With a Long-Handled Net
Another option is to use a long-handled net to scoop up your bird gently. Make sure that you don’t startle your parrot and that you watch and wait for the right moment to attempt a capture.
For example, if your parrot is up in a tree, you can wait for the moment that the bird takes flight and encourage it to fly into the net.
Use Your Other Birds To Lure It In
If you have multiple birds, you can also bring your other birds to where the other bird is as an incentive to fly back to you.
Parrots enjoy being a part of their flock and will feel tempted by the appeal of being with their friends.
Wait for Parrots in Trees To Come Down on Their Own
If your parrot is perched up high on a building or tree, avoid raising unfamiliar objects to their level, as things like ladders can be startling.
Instead, try waiting for the parrot to come down or luring it in some other way.
Parrots often scream before flying, which can be a helpful signal to remember when you’re trying to recapture your exploratory bird.
What To Do if Your Parrot Doesn’t Come Home by Nightfall
If your parrot doesn’t come back by nightfall, it likely has found a place to roost for the night.
Take note of your bird’s location, as it’s likely to be in the same spot by sunrise, provided that it wasn’t spooked during the night.
Make sure that you return to the area at dawn, or else your parrot might have flown away from the roosting spot by the time you get there.
What To Do if Your Parrot Is Lost
If your parrot flies out of sight and you can’t find it, there are several things that you can do to bring it back home safely.
These include the following steps:
- Walk around your neighborhood calling for your parrot.
- Leave the cage outside with treats inside it.
- Distribute flyers with your bird’s photo on them throughout your neighborhood.
- Talk to your neighbors, asking them to keep an eye out for your parrot.
- Call local animal authorities: the humane society, zoos, veterinarians, pet stores, and the police.
Parrots can fly far away from home, up to thirty miles per day. For this reason, you don’t want to hesitate in the search for your lost parrot; the first 24 hours after its disappearance is critical.
How To Prevent Your Parrot From Flying Away
The best way to prevent a lost parrot is to encourage them not to fly away from home in the first place.
Thankfully, there are many things you can do to keep your parrot from flying away, from behavioral conditioning to physical restraints.
Should You Clip Your Parrot’s Wings?
Wing-clipping is a common way that people prevent their parrots from flying away.
Proponents of clipping argue that the reduced risk of escape is worth any tradeoffs, but it’s important to know what these tradeoffs are before you make that decision.
Clipping a bird’s wings prevents its chest muscles from developing properly and can cause the bird to become frustrated to the point of self-mutilation.
If done improperly, it can also be very painful and cause bleeding. So, if you choose to clip your bird’s wings, at least make sure that it’s done by a trained professional.
Use a Harness
Bird harnesses like the AvianWeb EZ Rider are great for taking parrots outside and allowing them to fly while preventing them from flying too far away.
They allow the bird to use its flight muscles and explore while remaining safe.
If you choose to use a harness, be sure that you allow the bird to control the direction of flight and feel some freedom.
Train Your Parrot Not To Fly Away
The best way to prevent a parrot from flying away is to train it to come to you when called and to make your parrot comfortable with its environment.
Start indoors, using treats and a special call to train your parrot to come back to you. You can also try using a harness in your training sessions.
Pet parrots may not fly away because they prefer to stay close to their flock, they’re comfortable with their environments, or they’re full or tired.
If your parrot does fly away, you should be sure to lure it back to safety within a day because a parrot can fly away very far, very quickly.