How to Catch A Parrot: Tips and Advice 

Parrots are beautiful birds, no matter whether they’re tame or feral. If you’re wondering how to catch a parrot, prepare for a potentially taxing experience. These coloring creatures are capable of taking you on a wild adventure just to bring one home.

How to Catch A Parrot That Has Escaped

When a parrot escapes it can be a hectic situation. We have some great tips and advice for catching your parrot whether it escapes indoors or outdoors. 

If Your Parrot Has Escaped Indoors

If your parrot escapes its cage but is still inside your home, the first thing you want to do is close all the doors and windows to keep the bird indoors. It’s also important to close the curtains or drapes to keep your bird from flying into the glass and potentially hurting itself. 

If you have other pets in your home, move them to an area away from the parrot. Also, move anything that your bird may potentially break, knock down, or otherwise damage while it is free. If you have anything in the area that is potentially harmful to your bird, you should move those items as well – including house plants, liquids, and foods. 

Depending on the temperament of your parrot, it may be easily lured to your hand or eventually return to its cag on its own. The idea is that your bird will eventually become tired or bored and will want to return to its home. 

If Your Parrot Has Escaped Outdoors

Parrot Has Escaped Outdoors

If your parrot has escaped outdoors, you’re facing a more serious, difficult situation. If your parrot is tame and has been happy at home, it’s much more likely to return home (or near home) on its own. If your parrot is tame, it may recognize your voice and respond to you when you call for it. 

However, even the tamest, happiest bird is capable of flying too far and becoming too tired or lost to return home. Don’t give up hope – there is still a significant chance that your bird is close enough to home to be found.

Consider the following tips when looking outdoors for your escaped bird:

  • Take your birdcage with you. If it’s an aviary bird, take a different cage or appropriate box, as well as some of your parrot’s favorite treats. 
  • Bring a net (or a towel) to help you catch the bird in case it won’t willingly come to you.
  • Use your phone or an audio device to play parrot sounds. Your bird may hear them and follow the noise.
  • Leave an open cage with treats inside in an area where the bird can get to it in case it comes home on its own.
  • Let other people in your area know that your bird has escaped and ask them to keep an eye out for it. If it’s been several hours since the bird went missing, put up flyers with a picture of your bird and your phone number for people to call if they spot it.

Once you spot your bird, keep your eyes on it and stay as close as you can. Call it frequently and ensure it can see the treats you brought. Keep in mind that if your parrot sees you before you see it, it may become quiet because it’s relieved to see you. It may also call out to you. Remember to stay calm and use a soothing voice to keep the bird from panicking.

How to Catch a Parrot in the Wild

Parrot's family

If you have set your sights on a wild bird and are curious about what it would take to catch it, be aware that this is certainly no easy feat. Wild parrots can be extremely aggressive – their beaks are strong enough to crush the bones in your fingers. It is vital to be cautious when trying to handle a wild parrot. 

Wild parrots aren’t as common in the United States as they are in other countries, but unlike in other areas, such as South America, catching a wild parrot is legal. Surprisingly, wild parrots tend to be found in major cities like Los Angeles and New York where legally imported parrots have escaped and now live in the wild. 

Take a wild parrot to an animal shelter instead of keeping it as a pet. If you see one in the wild and feel compelled to catch it, here are a few bits of advice to boost your chances:

  • Parrots tend to build nests and small roosts in places where there is a good amount of trees, like parks. They also tend to prefer leafy trees that have some sort of berries.
  • Parrots will most likely be in or near their nests around dawn or sunset. 

Once you’ve spotted the bird and its nest, use a branch or long rod with one end coated in peanut butter, seeds, and mashed berries to entice the bird. Slowly and carefully raise the stick toward the nest, trying to make it appear as natural as possible. One or more of the parrots will potentially be drawn to the smell and perch onto the branch.

At this point, try to move the branch toward you as slowly and carefully as possible. As soon as the bird is within reach, use your free hand to slowly drape a net or pillow case over the bird, aiming specifically for its head. Parrots typically stop moving when they can’t see. 

Place the stick on the group and secure the parrot within your net or pillow case until you can place it, still inside the pillowcase, inside your bird cage. 


Whether you’re seeking to recapture your escaped pet parrot or capture a wild parrot that has been seen flying around your city, getting your hands on these beautiful creatures is far from easy. Fortunately, it can be a thrilling and rewarding experience, especially if you’ve always wondered how to catch a parrot but never actually attempted to. 

Harlan Derricks