Yesterday my audacious and brilliant, gregarious, Dexter has disappeared and I've given up an active search for him. When taking him out of my car to look at the new construction home I purchased under construction, he burst into an amazing flight pattern I didn't realize he had in him given only 1 of his 2 primary feathers had grown in after clipping them a few months ago. I tried to follow his image across a field but lost sight of him. There was a grove of trees about 200m across the open field and he appeared to be headed in that direction. I spent the next few afternoon hours in the sweltering heat/sun searching for him, calling his name in hopes I'd hear his voice, as he repeats 10-20 phrases over and over in his meandering dialogue. If he'd been in earshot I'm sure I would have heard him, but although I searched this open space area (probably 20-40 acres) and called up just about every tree, no sign of him. A T-storm downpour hit in the evening, and I was worried he got washed away in the waterway running through the middle. I couldn't fathom his flight taking him past these trees, or outside this open space area, so I'm bewildered what happened to him. The noise from the birds/crickets/etc possibly overshadow his voice, so this is a problem.
At home he stays in his cage with an occasional flight in the apartment. I take him out in the yard so he can mingle with other birds. He's a very cautious bird and isn't that explorative. When he landed from the first flight, I don't think he would have gone very far. I hate to think of how helpless he really is out there, with the heat/lack of food/predators/etc. I'm not sure what I can really do at this point. I was going to make some flyers and put them in the mailboxes of the houses near the open space. Any thoughts/help appreciated.
He is the 4th parakeet I've lost, 3rd to escape. He was the best so far. I've raised him since 6wks of being handfed. Beyond being uncomfortable with being touched near the head, or held, he's very comfortable with people. He's affectionate, beautiful light blue with yellow/green highlights. He picked up language so well and imitates my expressions/tics (like clearing my throat), and I almost believed that he has some understanding of the expressions. For example, beddy-by night-night is bedtime, or the seeming emotional tone with some expressions "you're a good bird, yes you are". I'm very sad, how could I replace such an amazing friend.
But I must ask , I can't tell from the content of your story....
Do you take him/them outside without a cage or tiny budgie harness? Is that how he flew away?
I have a budgie called Dexter too, I really hope you find him. I too am interested how he would interact with other birds outside. In the UK I find Budgie accessories hard to come by - is there such a thing as a budgie harness? Sorry for my ignorance
Also its not a good idea to take any bird out wether its wings are clipped or not, wether it likes to explore or not etc...My cousin did this with her parrot and he is very close and obssessd with her-he never leaves her alone. She never thought he would try and fly away, but one day he did. She found him several hours later though up in a tree...If you're going to take a bird out always take it out in its cage/carrier/harness.
Thanks for the responses, this story has a good ending.
Dexter is back at home seemingly unscathed by spending over 24 hrs in the "wild". I found him last night before the sun went down around 8PM. He had been missing for 27 hours. Since I couldn't sleep the night before last, I got up before work and spent a good hour searching. After work, I planned a mountain bike ride where I would traverse the open space perimeter before I embarked on my ride. I'm leaving on travel today so last night was probably the last concerted effort of search I would have. I planned to just skim the perimeter, calling his name where the trees were. I felt he was probably in the inaccessible marshy/tree-lined area near the flood canal. This is where many birds were, and it seemed to be the direction he was heading when he suddenly took flight a few days ago. I could not really search this area with the dense thicket of stickers and flooded/marshy landscape. The last sweep was along a set of houses where there were scattered trees. I continued to call his name at every tree grove.
I heard his "loud" chirp when he wants attention from me or other yard birds. At first I thought it was probably another bird, and I didn't hear anything for a minute or so. I kept calling his name and I then heard it again, and soon saw him on a branch about 15-20 ft up looking down at me. I then spoke to him reassuringly and soon he was convinced of whom I was. I figured he wouldn't fly right down, he does seem to have fear of heights I then broke off a tall branch and he stepped on it, and soon flew down to the ground. I scooped him up and took him immediately home. He was definitely hungry, but in tact and healthy.
No more free reign outside for Dexter, unless his wings are fully clipped. He seems to be depressed after wing clippings, so he's just going to have to stay inside, until I create an outside atrium