Ask Lafeber


July 20, 2018

Found Bird

Hi! Is it possible for an escaped budgie to fly 120 miles and find us in pristine condition? Just found someones budgie, and someone is claiming it as theirs, would like to get to the bottom of it.


Hi Adam,

Lost birds have been known to cover a lot of ground. Although that is quite a distance, I would not say it is impossible. Sadly many birds never find their way home because of how far some of them fly.

I would ask to see some photos. While overall some colors of budgies will look identical, sometimes there can be a distinguishing feature like a mark on the beak or an odd feather, the spots on the head, something with the feet, and so on. You can also see if the bird seems to respond to his name.

Is this bird tame? If the photos seem to match and if someone is willing to drive 120 miles to come see the bird, it is not likely they will want to claim a bird that is not their bird. Especially since we are talking about a budgie since they are not an expensive bird – it will cost them more in gas than what a budgie costs. I would be much more suspicious if this was a bird that cost a lot more. I hate to put it in terms of money, but someone isn’t going to gain anything by claiming a $15-$20 bird that isn’t their bird. If it is tame, it should recognize them, or his cage or both. I would let them come see it and hopefully the cage is not too large for them to also bring. Let them call his name from another room and see if he reacts or gives any type of vocal response. Don’t expect a huge reaction, and no reaction at first is not necessarily a sign that it is not the same bird. Let them visit for a while and let the bird get comfortable and watch his reactions. Sometimes the stress of being lost for a while can cause a bird not to react to their owner at first.

Mainly I would give them the benefit of the doubt. They clearly love the bird they lost or they would not be willing to go to such lengths to recover him.

Let us know if there is a reunion – we love to hear about happy reunions!


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