Will Parrots Come Back Home If They Fly Away?

  • Time to read: 9 min.

Do parrots come back if they fly away? The thought of your parrot escaping into the wild is frightful. But what will happen to it in an instance that it escaped from its cage and flew away?

Parrots that escaped may try to come back to their home, especially once they feel hungry. They lack the skills to live in the wild, so they will likely find their human companion who provides them with their needs. But it can be difficult for an escaped parrot to find its way back home.

Do Parrots Come Back If They Fly Away?

The worst fear that every parrot owner probably has is their pet escaping from them. If you are a parrot owner, you know that this nightmare can happen every day whenever you feed your bird. 

If your parrot flew away, you might have a hard time luring it to come back. 

So, what would happen if your parrot escaped? Do parrots come back if they fly away?

Will Parrots Come Back If They Escaped?

Parrots are intelligent birds that people often keep as pets. In the wild, they survive by feeding on fruits, nuts, tiny seeds, and even insects. They can also escape predators, a skill that they learn as they grow up. 

On the other hand, parrots kept in captivity cannot live in the wild. They did not learn the skills to survive as they grew up with a human companion that provided them with their needs. 

For this reason, they will try coming back to their home when they feel hungry since they know food is present there. That said, parrots come back if they fly away. 

If your parrot flew at a near distance and perched on a tree, you can prompt it to come back with a bit of persuasion. For instance, you can set its cage outside with some food. If your parrot sees it, it may fly back to its cage once it gets hungry. 

However, parrots are strong fliers. So, they may travel a long distance, making it hard for them to come back home. Your parrot may attempt to fly back home, but it will not have any idea where it should go. Similarly, they wouldn’t have much experience recognizing your house from outside, especially from the air. (source)

Why Do Captive Parrots Do Not Fly Away?

If you see a parrot in captivity, you may wonder why it is not trying to escape its human companion. However, captive parrots not flying away is a common misconception. They simply do not have the chance to fly away. But if given a chance, these parrots will fly away even for a short period. 

Since captive parrots are mostly tamed, they come back if they fly away. 

On the other hand, you may see a parrot that simply cannot fly away no matter how they flap their wings. The reason is that their owners clip their flight feathers, a method surrounded by controversy. 

To parrot owners, clipping their birds’ flight feathers is a move to protect them since they cannot survive in the wild. However, some people claim that feather clipping is cruel. 

Moreover, flight feathers are vital for parrots to become strong fliers. Without these feathers, they will only be able to glide without much altitude. 

While flight feathers grow back, you must speak with your veterinarian before clipping your parrot’s feathers. (source)

Can Escaped Parrots Survive?

Can Escaped Parrots Survive?
Can Escaped Parrots Survive?

Some captive parrots come back if they fly away. However, some may not be able to find their way back home. If your parrot escaped and cannot find its way home, it may be difficult for it to survive in the wild. 

The reason is that domesticated parrots do not have the skills needed to live in the wild. It does not have the ability to find food since it relies on your care all its life. In the wild, parrots learn survival skills about food and escaping predators. But since your parrot grew up with you, it lacks these essential survival skills. 

Additionally, a captive parrot that escaped cannot avoid predators. While parrots were strong fliers even when they grew up in captivity, they were not as good fliers as those that grew up in the wild. For this reason, it will be difficult for them to survive predators. 

That said, captive parrots come back if they fly away since they will find it hard to survive without their human companion. 

Moreover, domesticated parrots will find it challenging to adapt to areas they are not used to. If you live with your parrot somewhere warm and it flew in a colder region, it may not be able to stay alive for long. The reason is that it cannot easily adjust to a new environment. And since they do not have a human companion to take care of them, they may fall into depression, which will make it harder for them to survive. (source)

How Do You Get Your Bird Back If It Flies Away?

It is common for parrots to find their way back home. However, such only happens if your parrot is tamed. For this reason, it would be best to tame your parrot while it is still young. Such is the best way to have parrots come back if they fly away. 

Moreover, here are the ways that you can get your parrot back if it escapes.

1. Respond Immediately

It is vital to act fast once you see your parrot flying away. This way, you will increase your chances of retrieving your bird.

Try following your parrot as soon as it flies away. A parrot is a strong flier, so you need a vehicle when you follow it. Ask people who can help you to scan nearby poles, trees, or anything your bird might perch on. 

2. Imagine Your Bird’s Vision

Domesticated parrots will feel scared to venture into a new environment. For instance, it may not know how to go down from the top of a tree so that it will get stuck there. 

For this reason, make sure to double-check poles, trees, or anywhere that your parrot may get stuck on. 

3. Stay Where The Bird Can See You

The parrot’s human companion should stay somewhere the bird can see them. Your bird does not know what its house looks like from up in the sky. For this reason, it does not have any way of identifying its house from the air. So while parrots come back, they may not be able to find their home if they fly away. 

Moreover, the only familiar thing that your parrot can recognize from above is you. So, make sure to stay outside as much as possible while wearing bright clothes. This way, your pet will easily see you and fly back to you. 

4. Take the cage out

Your parrot knows its cage perfectly. It is also aware that its cage has food and water inside, so it will likely fly back there. 

If your parrot escaped, set its cage outside immediately. Sometimes, your bird will locate its cage and walk back to it independently. (source)

What Are The Chances Of Finding A Lost Parrot?

Parrots come back if they fly away. But suppose your parrot cannot find its way back home. In that case, the book Why Does My Parrot?, by Rosemary Low, states, “there is a little or no chance of getting it [parrot] back because it will travel such a long distance.” If it flies away and finds a flock that will accept it, it may never come back to you. 

Parrots are strong fliers. But if they grew up in captivity, they may not have the strength to fly far. So, if you see that your pet is not in its cage, you should immediately search around nearby areas. 

However, if your parrot has been missing for a few days, there is only a slim chance that you find it. After a few days, your parrot may be used to the environment outside your home, so it may not look for its home anymore. (source)

What Can Happen To An Escaped Parrot?

A parrot that grew up in the wild has all the abilities to thrive there. They can find food and shelter and adapt to the changing climate. 

On the other hand, domesticated parrots are used to being taken care of by their human companion. Most pet parrots also grew up in captivity, so they did not have a mother that taught them survival skills. For this reason, they can die in the wild either out of:

  • hunger
  • predators
  • extreme weather changes

So if your parrot grew up in captivity, the best thing to do is never release it in the wild. This way, it will be able to live a long and healthy life. 

Moreover, parrots are native to areas with warm climates. So, if you live somewhere cold, your parrot may not be able to survive the climate in its external environment. (source)

Should You Release Your Parrot In The Wild?

People get a pet parrot without realizing that these birds are a lifetime commitment. These birds also require a lot of time and attention, which can be hard to provide constantly. 

But suppose you do not give your bird the attention it needs. In that case, it may show unwanted behavior such as biting, screaming, and feather plucking. 

Additionally, parrots are highly sensitive. A tiny change in its daily routine can cause stress, which can be challenging to handle. 

Once parrot owners realize how much work taking care of a parrot is, they think of releasing their parrot in the wild, thinking they will thrive better. But on the contrary, domesticated parrots cannot survive in forests, as they cannot fend for themselves. For this reason, you should never release your parrot in the wild. 

Also, parrots come back if they fly away, so there is a slim chance that they will show up on your door after releasing them. (source)

How Far Can Parrots Fly Without Stopping?

Five factors affect how far a pet parrot can fly without stopping. Parrot species have different sizes, so they have different strengths and capabilities. But unlike parrots that grew up in the wild, domesticated parrots lack extreme stamina for flying. 

Factors That Affect A Parrot’s Flying Capability
Size Parrots can range from 50 grams to 2kg, which can be really tiny or really big. Smaller parrots usually fly at a shorter distance than large ones. The reason is that large parrots have a wider wingspan, allowing them to do giant flaps. Larger birds will also have larger take-offs, so their launch alone is significantly greater than a smaller bird. What they sacrifice in maneuverability, they typically gain in power.
NurtureMother parrots begin teaching their young how to fly when they reach two weeks old. On the other hand, captive parrots did not get to practice flying a lot, so they only have a limited capacity.
WingspanParrots with wide wingspans can fly better than small parrots. The reason is that their enormous wings are more substantial than the wings of tiny parrots like love birds. 
AgeInexperienced parrots, such as the domesticated ones, can fly less than parrots that grew in the wild. But apart from that, age also plays a role. For instance, a young inexperienced parrot can fly longer than an adult. (source)

Summing Up

Parrots come back if they fly away. They cannot survive in the wild since they do not have the skills to do so. For this reason, they will indeed find their human companion once they feel hungry or thirsty. 

Additionally, domesticated parrots are strong fliers. But they are not as strong as their wild counterparts. So, they may not be able to escape predators if they set out in the wild. For this reason, make sure to catch your parrot as soon as it starts flying away from you. 

You may have your parrot’s flight feathers clipped if you want to ensure that it cannot escape. However, consult your vet first before clipping to know whether feather clipping is suitable for your parrot or not. 

  1. Nikki Moustaki, Parrots For Dummies. USA: John Wiley & Sons, 2021.
  2. Lance Jepson, Exotic Animal Medicine: A Quick Reference Guide. USA: Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015.
  3. Pet Assure, What to do When Your Bird Flies the Coop! (blog).
  4. Rosemary Low, Why Does My Parrot . . . ? Souvenir Press Ltd, 2009.
  5. Alan B. Bond, Judy Diamond, Thinking Like a Parrot: Perspectives from the Wild. USA: University of Chicago Press, 2021.
  6. Rachael Hanel, Parrots. USA: The Creative Company, 2008.

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