Lost African Grey behaviour

Waldoparrot22

Registered
Hi all, our beautiful 9mth old AG escaped on 13th June. Having researched lost parrot behaviour he should hv ‘broken cover’ today in order to be fed by humans. He unfortunately flew into farmland (he was spotted at a pigeon loft on the day of escape). Can he survive alone? Might the pigeon loft attract him back? All the usual methods - being spotted or heard by people don’t seem to apply as he’s in the middle of countryside. We’ve leafletted and done morning and night visits to where he was last seen. There’s nothing more left to do from the advice we’ve had. Can we still have hope? Can they become feral? Fortunately the weather is good…
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Sorry to hear of your birds adventure, your bird has a good few things that can help it, he is young and fit, being a grey will not travel far, predators are always a problem like dogs, cats, raptors and crows its not easy to find the bird on farm land i know i have tried to find greys my self and so much will rely on how your bird will react to situations it comes across. even if it is spotted trying to reach it (9as it may be high in a tree) will be hard to get it to come down and so much will depend on how well he trust people. saying that the three greys i have helped with searches on only one was found and returned to its owner after being free for two and a half weeks, one was spotted but flew and disappeared in local woods and never spotted again the last one no positive sighting at all. ok your bird will need to find food and water so try to look in trees near a small river or stream, this hot weather will make him/her rest more and being they are more prone to call out first thing in the morning or last thing before dark you are doing correct by going out at them times. a scared bird will remain quiet. when looking in trees greys normally settle around the middle of a large tree not near the top as they are more exposed. using the pidgin loft shows me your bird has brains . it may of found water near by and grain, this may mean he will take longer before he needs human help. a clever bird is a survivor so do not give up hope
 

JEGL22

Regular Member
So sorry to he is lost, I do hope he is found safe & well. Only from others experiences of losing their birds (greys) all 3 were found within 1/4 mile prob less than that as they went no further than a street away. The worst thing to do is panic (easier said than done) I would keep to local areas. Have you got any other birds you could take out in a carrier? Also have you thought about just going onto the farmland where he was last seen and rather than searching him, getting a chair and a book and some treats and a portable radio and sitting in the area for a while. It might be that your grey has seen you but is too scared to come to you as you are not doing your "normal" behaviour. It might be if you are being calm and he sees you, he may come to you without you even realising he is even there. One time bird got out a small open window of a house on the top floor and the owner phoned a friend in a bit of a panic but because they were just talking on the phone and not getting ladders or a net, the bird actually flew down to the owner on the phone and was safely brought back inside. Don't give up hope. Also have you posted him as missing on Parrot Alert lost and found?
 

Feathered Janique

Regular Member
Registered
Calling your bird could also help, when one bird calls, the other birds intsinct is to call back, I've never heard a African grey, but you can either imitate the noise or find an audio track of an African grey calling, I feel so bad for you, praying your bird comes back
 

Waldoparrot22

Registered
Sorry to hear of your birds adventure, your bird has a good few things that can help it, he is young and fit, being a grey will not travel far, predators are always a problem like dogs, cats, raptors and crows its not easy to find the bird on farm land i know i have tried to find greys my self and so much will rely on how your bird will react to situations it comes across. even if it is spotted trying to reach it (9as it may be high in a tree) will be hard to get it to come down and so much will depend on how well he trust people. saying that the three greys i have helped with searches on only one was found and returned to its owner after being free for two and a half weeks, one was spotted but flew and disappeared in local woods and never spotted again the last one no positive sighting at all. ok your bird will need to find food and water so try to look in trees near a small river or stream, this hot weather will make him/her rest more and being they are more prone to call out first thing in the morning or last thing before dark you are doing correct by going out at them times. a scared bird will remain quiet. when looking in trees greys normally settle around the middle of a large tree not near the top as they are more exposed. using the pidgin loft shows me your bird has brains . it may of found water near by and grain, this may mean he will take longer before he needs human help. a clever bird is a survivor so do not give up hope
Thank you so much for the inspirational post Michael! It really does give me a tiny bit more hope. It hadn’t occurred to me that him finding the pigeon loft was from choice. The lovely ppl are keeping an eye out for him, but I wonder if he’s returning there when the coast is clear and getting food and water? Do pigeon ppl leave stray food around? He’s very suspicious of anybody other than my husband or me. Our grown up son visitors make him fall off his perch growling, (although we were cracking that 😕) , so I think it’ll be unlikely that he’ll approach people… and has he even stayed in the area? I also didn’t mention that, being very close to the Harewood estate, it’s Red Kite country. I talk myself in and out of hope, but I really do thank you for your realistic appraisal.
 

Waldoparrot22

Registered
So sorry to he is lost, I do hope he is found safe & well. Only from others experiences of losing their birds (greys) all 3 were found within 1/4 mile prob less than that as they went no further than a street away. The worst thing to do is panic (easier said than done) I would keep to local areas. Have you got any other birds you could take out in a carrier? Also have you thought about just going onto the farmland where he was last seen and rather than searching him, getting a chair and a book and some treats and a portable radio and sitting in the area for a while. It might be that your grey has seen you but is too scared to come to you as you are not doing your "normal" behaviour. It might be if you are being calm and he sees you, he may come to you without you even realising he is even there. One time bird got out a small open window of a house on the top floor and the owner phoned a friend in a bit of a panic but because they were just talking on the phone and not getting ladders or a net, the bird actually flew down to the owner on the phone and was safely brought back inside. Don't give up hope. Also have you posted him as missing on Parrot Alert lost and found?
Thank you for your reply. We also hv his pal, an Amazon who is normally very rowdy but has gone into silent mode since Waldo went. I’d record him if he’d just make the usual row in the morning that he did, but he’s very subdued. I love the suggestion of sitting in the area. We have dogs, so it might be a good way of doing two jobs in one go. Thank you! 👍🏻 He’s posted everywhere btw!
 

dianaT

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Have you tried putting his cage outside or alongside where the pigeon loft is he may recognise that and go in. When our late grey escaped the cage was taken to various sightings with a spare left outside here. Sadly it was autumn when Lucy went missing (this was many years ago) and the weather turned very wet. She was found by our neighbour on top of a pile of straw in his barn she must have gone in there to shelter, he'd been in there many times calling for her as had we, but did but sadly did not survive, we searched for 3months. A good idea to go sit in the area and call him. Wishing you good luck and please keep us up to date.
 

Waldoparrot22

Registered
Calling your bird could also help, when one bird calls, the other birds intsinct is to call back, I've never heard a African grey, but you can either imitate the noise or find an audio track of an African grey calling, I feel so bad for you, praying your bird comes back
Thank you for your kind thoughts! It’s incredible how much a large space takes away your voice! My husband and I can be 50yds apart and be barely audible to one another. It makes me minded to introduce a whistle with our Amazon and any birds that come hereafter, as I’ve done previously with the dogs.
 

Waldoparrot22

Registered
Have you tried putting his cage outside or alongside where the pigeon loft is he may recognise that and go in. When our late grey escaped the cage was taken to various sightings with a spare left outside here. Sadly it was autumn when Lucy went missing (this was many years ago) and the weather turned very wet. She was found by our neighbour on top of a pile of straw in his barn she must have gone in there to shelter, he'd been in there many times calling for her as had we, but did but sadly did not survive, we searched for 3months. A good idea to go sit in the area and call him. Wishing you good luck and please keep us up to date.
Hi Diana! Thank you so much for that sad but very interesting anecdote. What a sorry ending, but at least you knew. So your little Lucy had remained feral and self sufficient for 3months! It does give me hope.
I wondered about the cage thing… high up? Covered? Will he feel vulnerable and trapped?
This is our second AG and we’ve said from the off how very much more intelligent this one seemed. Here goes me being optimistic again - is he using intelligence and surviving? It’s good to have the ‘Day 4 he’ll emerge’ thing debunked! I’ll definitely feed back any further info. Thank you!!!
 

dianaT

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
I would just put his cage out as it is with his usual things in with the door open unless he is one that only goes in & out through the top (like one of my Senegals!) I would not cover it as he may not recognised it as his cage. He may well view it as his place of safety and food/drink etc. I think it has to be worth a good try. Which part of the Uk are you in?
 

JEGL22

Regular Member
I really do hope you find him, you have been in my thoughts all day. I know I'd be beside myself if my Grey ever went missing. I truly feel for you. Keep up hope. Is he chipped or rung? Also keep ringing local rescue centres even the same ones as sometimes they don't communicate with each other. Also research the same places and look for hiding places on the ground as well as higher up. Thinking of you all and hoping for a happy ending
 

Waldoparrot22

Registered
Hi all, an update and a new question!

Waldo is still missing - it‘ll be 6wks this Sunday. We had a sighting 2wks after the pigeon loft sighting 2 miles further along the valley. Since then, lots of reports of strange bird sounds - all of which are in the right area and in woodland bordered by fields of ripe crops. Then again, Red Kites are everywhere and they do make nice whistly noises I’ve discovered.

This week we’ve had another report of a bird vocalising at night in a lady’s garden in a voice I don’t recognise an African grey making. Might he change his bird sound? Would he risk calling at night? It’s pitch black - no street lights.

Also, if he is in the woodland, would he remain solitary? Or join up with pigeons or parakeets?

Thank you in anticipation!
 

Oli Fry

Regular Member
I think being a grey he'd be likely to remain solitary. I managed to get Grumpy (pictured) back after three terrible days missing in woodland last year - located by early morning and evening calls. The rest of the time, she was silent and didn't move much at all.
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
I can only go by the behaviour of my greys, they mainly keep solitary apart from other greys but mine do not mind ringnecks near by. as far as sounds they may make, they can learn new sounds quite quickly, my Reggie used to do a full playground sound with children playing a few classes and bangs plus cars and the horns. Max is the only grey that will mainly make sounds and talk when it is dark but in general they will remain silent. if he has found a source of food and water plus a hollow for him to rest he may well stay in the area until he gets the urge to look for a female
 

Waldoparrot22

Registered
Thank you both! The noise the lady recorded sounded like a long loud shriek - not a noise I’ve ever heard from an AG - more like a bird of prey, and in the dead of night. She’s kindly filled her bird table and put out water - would you imagine he’d show himself? Or will he do eating in secret? I’m trying to rule it out being him… each time we go everything is silent 😕
 

Oli Fry

Regular Member
If it's in the dead of night, I'd bet heavily that it's not your parrot - more likely to be an owl, as much as I hate to say so.

Good luck though. I understand how stressful this must be and hope you are managing OK.
 

Waldoparrot22

Registered
Thank you Oli Fry, That was my thought - owl. BUT… the lady has sent me another daytime recording where there is a definite single loud parrot squawk, but again not in a voice I’d associate with a grey. It was more like the noise his Amazon pal would make. I’d imagine him to be whistling - he was too young to talk, and hadn’t vocalised in an Amazon voice before. There are no other parrots missing in the area to my knowledge. I’m absolutely frazzled! Might he be making his little pal’s loud call?
 

JEGL22

Regular Member
Could you maybe take your Amazon in a travel cage to this garden and set up an empty one next to him with food and water and then keep watch from a hidden distance to see if (fingers crossed) if waldo is around there he may find the courage to fly over if he doesn't feel there are any threats lurking. I really hope you get him back safe and sound
 
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