Help! My lovebird escaped its cage
Nothing is more frightening than your feathered friend escaping their safe haven unexpectedly. Sometimes you only have seconds to react, to make sure your lovebird is safe from harm.
My lovebird Apache is a strong and inventive escapee, that managed to escape a few too many times to my liking. Here are a few examples to help you prevent your bird from escaping, like using the right cage setup.
How my lovebird Apache managed to escape
If you look at the pictures of my older blog posts, you will see a… strange cage setup. When I got my lovebird, she came with a rather small cage. I bought a larger one and put them against each other on a table so she had more playroom.
This in itself was a reason why she was able to escape. The cages sometimes moved. I fixed that with some carabiners. But before doing so she managed to fly out more than once.
Another way she managed to escape was throwing her bath out and simply going through the new opening she created. No matter what I tried with that bath, she was stronger. So I bought a different one, keeping the door closed.
Or so I thought...
Yes, she managed to open her door too. A smart little birb she is for sure.
Another carabiner solved that, though it wasn’t ideal.
So when you are picking out a cage for your bird, make sure they cannot open the doors. Also birds are much stronger than you think, they can lift filled baths, so make sure your bird won’t be able to do so.
How I almost lost my lovebird because of open windows
Out of all her successful escapes one stands out for me. For a short few seconds I was afraid I was going to lose her for sure.
It was a warm summer day. Both the window and the backdoor were open to let in fresh air. I was working on my pc. My boyfriend was playing a game on his laptop whilst being in a discord chat.
All of a sudden I hear a noise and then Apache’s chirping. I turn and I see her flying around my living room.
I only had seconds to react. Jumping off my chair I rushed to the window whilst shouting at my boyfriend to shut the door right now.
With the door and window closed I rushed over to the door to the hallway to limit Apache’s access to space. At the same time my boyfriend realized why he had to jump to action.
Luckily we managed to keep her inside. Had she gone through the window, I would probably not have seen her anymore. She was and is not yet trained enough to come back.
So if you have a bird prone to escaping its cage, keep an eye on its cage when your windows or doors are open. Or try training it to come to you when you call it.
How I avoid my bird from escaping her cage now
I know the reasons she managed to escape. The cage setup was never ideal. I did check them on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis to make sure she couldn’t. Since the day she was given to me I had been looking for another cage. After her escaping so many times, I realized I needed to find the right one.
What I needed was a cage with doors my lovebird could not open.
This means they shouldn’t be able to reach the locking mechanism. Or, in my lovebird’s case, create an opening by lifting a bath out of its position.
When I finally found the cage I wanted, the pandemic already caused supply problems. It was gone everywhere so I had to wait longer.
By now my lovebird is in her new cage. Safe behind good locks she cannot open nor things she can lift out of place to create an opening. She only goes out of her cage when it is safe for her.
How she still managed to escape anyway
Even with her new cage she escapes… well sort of. It’s more controlled. It can only happen when I need to clean her cage.
Whenever I clean her cage, I let her go into the small cage she came in. It’s an environment she knows. I also use this cage to transport her. I don’t let her fly around because I cannot watch her the entire time whilst cleaning, so she is safer in the smaller cage.
I open the doors of both cages, put the cages against each other and lure her with some millet. The first few times went fine. However, lately she found a small little opening where the cages aren’t fully against each other. Of course she slipped right through.
I am prepared for this kind of escape. Doors and windows are closed. Though it might take some time to entice her to go into her smaller cage (or even big cage).
What to do when your lovebird escapes
If your lovebird escapes inside the house, close doors and windows to the outside immediately. Give them as little room as possible to escape too, so next close other doors to hallways or other rooms. If your bird is in a room with the kitchen and you have something cooking, turn it off. Blow out any candles and extinguish any fire.
Stay calm. Or calm down after closing doors and windows to the outside and eliminating any other threat to your lovebird’s health. I certainly had to calm down after the initial shock.
When your lovebird does manage to fly outside. Try luring it back with the food it likes the most whilst calling its name. This may take a few tries.
Do NOT chase your bird. It will only fly away then. Let it come back to you.
Your best bet for situations like these is having trained your bird for free flight. There are bird trainers for this, try finding one in your area.