how to catch a bird

A sweet little European Robin flew into my kitchen — I carefully grabbed him and released him. Im in shock to be honest, Im pretty sure the little fella is fine.

In the unlikely chance that something like this happens again — do you have any resources on how to properly grab or hold a wild bird safely?

I think I did an okay job, but I cant help feeling that I couldve done better/been more confident for the sake of his comfort. I tried looking up resources but I only saw posts on pet birds.

Preventing Your Bird From Getting Away

  • {“smallUrl”:”https://www. wikihow. com/s/thumb/5/58/Catch-a-Bird-Step-29-Version-2. jpg/v4-460px-Catch-a-Bird-Step-29-Version-2. jpg”,”bigUrl”:”/s/thumb/5/58/Catch-a-Bird-Step-29-Version-2. jpg/aid996403-v4-728px-Catch-a-Bird-Step-29-Version-2. jpg”,”smallWidth”:460,”smallHeight”:345,”bigWidth”:728,”bigHeight”:546,”licensing”:”License: Creative Commons</a> </p> </p></div>”} 1 Train your bird. Your bird should be trained to land on your index finger. Put your index finger in front of it, give it a treat each time it moves up, and give it a command like “up.” To avoid assuming that step-up practice will equate to returning to the cage, practice this even when you aren’t putting it back in there. To ensure that it does not assume that going back into the cage will result in an extended period of confinement, you should occasionally place it in the cage and then let it come out again. [15] If it flees at the first sign of human contact, try giving it a treat by hand until it learns to accept your hands in its cage and views them as a positive thing. If it refuses to step up, try gently pushing it up or bringing your finger up to a slight angle near its knees. You can also coax it with a treat. Until it learns to step up all the way, try rewarding it even if it only steps up halfway. If it won’t come all the way up, try pushing up while it’s holding on. You can experiment with using objects other than your finger to practice, such as sticks. Considering that birds naturally prefer to climb ladders, they can be especially helpful. Getting your bird to perform this task can be as simple as teaching it to return to its cage. Since birds prefer to fly upward, if you start to slowly raise your finger after it steps up, your bird will usually become more accustomed to this trick. [16] Some advise carrying out this process each time you put your bird back in its cage. The theory is that if you let it fly back on its own initiative, it may start to think that it determines when it is safe to go outside.
  • {“smallUrl”:”https://www. wikihow. com/s/thumb/0/01/Catch-a-Bird-Step-30-Version-2. jpg/v4-460px-Catch-a-Bird-Step-30-Version-2. jpg”,”bigUrl”:”/s/thumb/0/01/Catch-a-Bird-Step-30-Version-2. jpg/aid996403-v4-728px-Catch-a-Bird-Step-30-Version-2. Hold your bird so that it cannot take off. jpg”,”smallWidth”:460,”smallHeight”:345,”bigWidth”:728,”bigHeight”:546,”licensing”:”License: Creative Commons</a> <</p> </p></div>”} 2 After your bird is perched on your index finger, you must secure it to prevent it from flying away while maintaining its comfort. To secure the bird’s feet to your finger, one method to accomplish this is to gently press your thumb against your index finger. As an alternative, you can gently place your other hand over its back to prevent it from spreading its wings. [17] You should practice these poses on a regular basis so that your bird gets used to them and doesn’t think that it will have to go back in its cage. Additionally, you won’t be as likely to forget to secure it and let it take off when it’s somewhere unfamiliar or hazardous if it becomes second nature. [18] .
  • {“smallUrl”:”https://www. wikihow. com/s/thumb/5/50/Catch-a-Bird-Step-31-Version-2. jpg/v4-460px-Catch-a-Bird-Step-31-Version-2. jpg”,”bigUrl”:”/s/thumb/5/50/Catch-a-Bird-Step-31-Version-2. jpg/aid996403-v4-728px-Catch-a-Bird-Step-31-Version-2. Consult your veterinarian about removing the feathers from your bird. jpg”,”smallWidth”:460,”smallHeight”:345,”bigWidth”:728,”bigHeight”:546,”licensing”:”License: Creative Commons</a> </p> </p></div>”} 3 If your bird is becoming difficult to manage, you can have its wings clipped. Depending on how short you clip them, this will allow it to fly only a little or not at all. [19] But, this may work against you because your bird won’t exhaust itself outside of the cage and may become less inclined to come back.
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Catching a Bird that has Escaped Into the Wild

  • {“smallUrl”:”https://www. wikihow. com/s/thumb/0/02/Catch-a-Bird-Step-16-Version-3. jpg/v4-460px-Catch-a-Bird-Step-16-Version-3. jpg”,”bigUrl”:”/s/thumb/0/02/Catch-a-Bird-Step-16-Version-3. jpg/aid996403-v4-728px-Catch-a-Bird-Step-16-Version-3. 1 Place the other birds in their cages near an open window. jpg”,”smallWidth”:460,”smallHeight”:345,”bigWidth”:728,”bigHeight”:546,”licensing”:”License: Creative Commons</a> </p> </p></div>”} If birds don’t spend much time outside, they probably won’t know where they live. The sound of their bird calls, though, might entice your bird to return home. Another option is to place your bird’s cage and a large supply of its preferred food on your front step or lawn. Your bird will gravitate toward his favorite food and the comfortable cage.
  • {“smallUrl”:”https://www. wikihow. com/s/thumb/9/93/Catch-a-Bird-Step-17-Version-3. jpg/v4-460px-Catch-a-Bird-Step-17-Version-3. jpg”,”bigUrl”:”/s/thumb/9/93/Catch-a-Bird-Step-17-Version-3. jpg/aid996403-v4-728px-Catch-a-Bird-Step-17-Version-3. jpg”,”smallWidth”:460,”smallHeight”:345,”bigWidth”:728,”bigHeight”:546,”licensing”:”License: Creative Commons</a> </p> </p></div>”} 2 Place a trap. If it’s possible, buy a trap from a pet supply store and set it outside with food. This will draw them in. If not, you might try setting up a spare cage with food on your roof and keeping an eye out for your bird. Because birds like to be in the air, it should be positioned as high as possible in either case. Check frequently, because your bird will likely panic when captured. It is recommended that you utilize a “live trap,” which catches the bird without endangering it physically. Usually, this will be a cage trap, which is exactly what it sounds like—a cage designed to catch any bird that enters.
  • {“smallUrl”:”https://www. wikihow. com/s/thumb/9/92/Catch-a-Bird-Step-18-Version-3. jpg/v4-460px-Catch-a-Bird-Step-18-Version-3. jpg”,”bigUrl”:”/s/thumb/9/92/Catch-a-Bird-Step-18-Version-3. jpg/aid996403-v4-728px-Catch-a-Bird-Step-18-Version-3. 3 See a veterinarian following recapture. jpg”,”smallWidth”:460,”smallHeight”:345,”bigWidth”:728,”bigHeight”:546,”licensing”:”License: Creative Commons</a> </p> </p></div>”} It is quite likely that a tamed bird released into the wild for an extended period of time will become ill or become malnourished. See a veterinarian as soon as you can to check for any issues with your bird. Don’t be disheartened if your bird doesn’t reappear immediately though. Some birds can live for years in the wild.
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Expert Q&ASearch

  • Melissa Nelson, DVM, PhD, a veterinarian, answers a question about how to catch birds in the house. Nelson is a Minnesota-based veterinarian with over 18 years of experience working in a rural clinic. Her areas of expertise are companion and large animal medicine. The University of Minnesota awarded her a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1998. Answer from Melissa Nelson, DVM, PhD, Veterinarian Expert: You use a net or a blanket or towel to catch birds inside your home. To avoid hurting the bird, the towel or blanket should be lighter in weight the smaller the bird.
  • Question Dr. Melissa Nelson, DVM, PhD, is a veterinarian. How do you pick up a bird? Nelson is a Minnesota-based veterinarian with over 18 years of experience working in a rural clinic. Her areas of expertise are companion and large animal medicine. The University of Minnesota awarded her a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in 1998. The size of the bird determines the answer, says veterinarian expert Melissa Nelson, DVM, PhD. It is effective to “tuck” a small bird’s head between two fingers and hold its body in your palm. The best way to secure a larger bird’s wings is to wrap it in a towel using gloves. You can always get the bird to “step up” onto your gloved hand if it is tame.
  • What is the proper method for handling a bird? Pippa Elliott, MRCVS Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian that has worked with companion animals and performed veterinary surgery for more than 30 years. She earned a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has spent more than 20 years working at the same veterinary clinic in her hometown. Pippa Elliott, MRCVS Veterinarian Expert Response: If the bird is untamed and prone to fear, make sure to support its wings against its body by placing one hand over its back. Next, use your other hand to pick up the bird and support it beneath your chest. If the bird is a parrot or other bird of prey, be careful not to get bitten.

FAQ

How do you catch a wild bird easy?

If a hose is readily available, spray the bird with large amounts of water in a short period of time. This will make it heavy so that it cannot fly off. Grab it in a way that will secure it in your hands, without applying too much pressure; birds are delicate.

What is the best bait for catching birds?

Bait material suitable to the species being trapped should be used. For example: Mynas and starlings: chick starter pellets, bread, sultanas, fruit, pet food. Corvids: offal, meat, animal carcasses.

Is it safe to grab a bird?

Is it dangerous to pick up a bird? Some birds can bite hard (Northern Cardinals), some can stab (Hairy Woodpeckers), while others can make intimidating noises, But most can’t do any serious damage to a human. Birds do not carry rabies, and are generally at higher risk of catching something from us than vice versa.