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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It breaks my heart to write this, but we lost our cockatiel, Cody, a couple days ago, and it's my fault.

I never liked the idea of clipping our bird's wingtips. I always thought she (yes, a 'she' named Cody, we thought she was a he, but DNA proved us wrong) would be better off if we let her fly. Birds were meant to fly, and if Cody had the freedom to fly from one cage to another (we had two set up for her), the happier she would be. I thought I could train her to fly back to her cage using millet. I was really, really wrong.

One day, while I was cleaning one of her cages outside, I had Cody perched on her second cage in the foyer. My wife walked in the house and must have spooked her. She flew out the door before anyone could react. Her speed was astonishing. Before we knew it, she was over the houses next door and climbing out of sight.

I knew that if I got close to where she went, I could whistle to her and she would whistle back at me. Knowing I would never hear her from my truck, I hopped on my bike and canvased the neighborhood, whistling for her. We found her in someone's backyard tree not too far from our house. We attempted to get her down, but she had flown away.

Two more times, I had tracked her down on my bike and tried coaxing her down using food and millet. Both times, she decided to fly away to another location. After the third tree, it had gotten too dark to track her anymore. Reluctantly I had to give up the search for the day.


That night, temperatures had gotten down to the fifties with rain. I wasn't sure how Cody would have faired, but the next morning I got on my bike and tried finding her. Miraculously, I found her in our community park, perched on top of the highest tree. She seemed in good spirits, but did not want to come down. After about an hour, another bird spooked her and she once again flew away. That was the last I've seen of Cody.


The second day after her disappearance, I once again canvased the neighborhood on my bike to find a gruesome discovery. A bird had been hit in the middle of a nearby road. It matched her gray and yellow feathers. My heart sank. I gently pulled the bird from the road to check. It wasn't Cody. The beak was too pointy, and the yellow feathers too short. I buried the poor little guy by the side of the road.

Since then, I had to go out of town and was unable to do any more searches. Local temperatures at night have gotten down to 30 degrees, so I'm not very hopeful of Cody's survival. The cage with food and millet was left outside in the backyard, untouched.

For those of you that took that time to read this entire message, I thank you, but I have two requests. First, unless you're a real expert at taking care of these birds, I suggest trimming their wings. Yes, birds should fly, but it only takes one slip to end up in the unbearable position I'm in right now. Second, I would appreciate any prayers for me and Cody. I certainly hope she's well and happy, but I may never know and may just need to accept that. She was my best buddy for three years, and her loss has devastated me more than words can describe.

Dan
 

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I am so sorry. I can see from your post that you really loved her and did your best and it is certainly not your fault. It is difficult to know what is better. I stopped trimming my boy's wings too for now because he really likes freedom. He is a plucker, so he has a naked neck and I am always terrified he is going to break it, but he is an incredibly good flyer for now. If he loses this ability when he gets older I will have to trim his wings again.
There is no danger that he flies away as I always close not one, but TWO doors behind me when I open the balcony or the main door and the windows have screens.

I can understand why you initially thought that Cody was a boy by the way, as Cody looks a lot like my boy.

Maybe you can try some notices or posters? Maybe you can ask local shops to help you. A few months ago I saw "lost cockatiel" posters everywhere here, and I mean really everywhere, shops, bus stops etc., and even in surrounding towns 50 km from here! I don't know if they found their cockatiel. I certainly hope so.

Cockatiels are pretty and make good pets and maybe somebody found her but doesn't know how to contact you? Maybe you can also try the local newspaper. Is there a pet shop where you live? Sometimes when people find cockatiels they take them to the local pet shop.

I will keep you and Cody in my thoughts! Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Littletiel,

Thanks for the thoughts. I registered Cody online at a couple local pet shelters. I think that's probably where someone would take her. I also posted flyers around my neighborhood on community mailboxes, but some people are inexplicably tearing them down and throwing them out.

I will also check with the pet stores, and probably the veterinarian's office. Thank you for the suggestion.

I'm just curious, does anyone know if cockatiels can find their way home after being lost? I know they're migratory birds, but I've read cases online where cockatiels return to their home after one or two weeks. I'm grasping at straws, but I don't know what else I can do.
 

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I have always clipped my birds wings and somehow it makes no difference to them being able to fly away. They are extremely fast and can still get quite a bit of height. If she caught an updraft, that would have helped her too. Don't be so hard on yourself, I have lost 3 birds over my 30 years and all 3 had clipped wings. I feel badly for your loss... They are so helpless, so for me it's much more heartbreaking xxx
 

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Dan, First of all, sorry for your terrible loss! I know how you feel because almost a year ago now I had the exact same thing happen to me with my favorite little guy Petey! My wife ask me to bring in a large bag of dog food from her car and when I started in the back door and opened it, Petey was right there and flew out the door! All I could do was watch him fly over the trees across the street. Although we looked for days, unlike you we never saw him again. Like your situation, our weather wasn't the best that night plus it was raining so I could only HOPE that somehow he survived and was maybe found by someone else rather than meeting his fate. At the time, we had three other tiels and HAD clipped there wings but sadly, Peteys had just grown back just enough to carry him out that door and over the trees!

Robert
 
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