The Bird Center of Washtenaw County cares for wild birds that are injured or in some kind of trouble. However, we get many calls about lost pet birds and lost banded racing and fancy pigeons. We make an exception and take the banded pigeons into the Center temporarily because we can trace them and return them to their owners quickly. Pet birds, however, are a real problem. Since we care for wild birds that are sick as well as injured, the Bird Center is not a safe environment for pet birds. Also there are no identifiable bands on these birds. Some valuable birds are microchipped, but we do not have a microchip reader.

If you find a pet bird, the best solution is to place the bird in a laundry basket and contact the Humane Society of Huron Valley (or the Humane Society local to your area). HSHV keeps lost and found records so if the bird’s owner calls they can relay information. If you call the Bird Center, we will put a Post-it note about the pet bird near our phone.

You can also try posting a lost and found notice around the area where the pet bird was found. Having a photograph of the bird in the notice is always helpful. Stores that sell birds and bird supplies, such as University Aquarium, are also a good resource for lost and found notices.

The week before and after July 4th usually result in a large number of calls to us about lost pet birds or pet birds in high trees that they cannot get down! Many of these birds perish.

Make sure your pet bird’s wings are adequately clipped by a vet or vet tech experienced with birds. Do not take the bird outside because unexpected explosions of fireworks will frighten the bird and it will try to fly.

Be extra careful about guests and opened doors and windows at this time.

Make sure pet sitters know to be extra cautious at this time or board your bird at a reliable veterinary facility while you are gone.

These simple precautions may save a lot of birds!