How to catch a stray parrot and what to do once they’re caught.

So you’re sitting on your stoep and suddenly you see a bright flash of color out of the corner of your eye, you look over and there you see it, a parrot in your garden. You know you should catch it, surely it’s somebody’s missing baby, but how? 

You might have heard “If you want to catch a bird, spray them with a hosepipe because they won’t be able to fly away” this is honestly one of the worst things that you could do. If you spray them in weather where it’s cooler outside and they are still able to fly away, you might have just signed their death warrant because they will most likely succumb to the cold overnight. 

Instead what you should do is try to get a net, a fitted sheet or a laundry basket (anything you can use to catch the bird without harming them) to catch the bird in. This way you can get hold of the bird and get them to safety because there are many predators who can do serious harm to pet parrots who are not street smart such as cats, dogs, birds of prey and the list goes on. 

Once you have them in your care there are many things that need to be done: 

Firstly you need to check if they have any visible injuries. If this is the case you need to take them to the vet IMMEDIATELY because birds hide their illnesses very well due to being prey animals. While they are at the vet they can also scan for a chip because some people have their birds chipped. They also need to go to a vet even if they are not visibly ill. 

After this, you need to register them as found on which is an international community for finding lost birds. When creating your ParrotAlert it is recommended to not give too many identifying factors such as words spoken, ring number, etc because this will be used by you to ensure that someone who contacts you is in fact the owner. This ParrotAlert poster can then be shared with vets, pet shops, newspapers, grocery stores, social media, and community groups in order to find their owner. 

If someone contacts you thinking that the bird might be theirs, you can try to get positive identification through them telling you some specific information about the bird. If there are none you can try having the person come visit the bird because you can often tell if they are the owner by way of the bird showing that they know the person through making sounds, going to them, etc. 

You also need to alert your local SPCA of the fact that you have found the parrot because it is illegal to not share this information with them. 

If you are unable to keep the parrot safely or need assistance with sharing the information about the found parrot you are more than welcome to contact us because we have a widespread network of approved foster homes where they can go into long-term foster care until their owners are found. We do not adopt out these birds under any circumstances so even if the owner comes to us a year later they will still be able to get back their bird.