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Stuck in a tree! (Happy Update #21)

MacawMom87

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Hoping for some advice here.
Our blue and gold macaw just turned 1 year old. The breeders clipped his wings but we have let his flight feathers come back in. He’s JUST started flying and we have been doing training but today my kid didn’t know Gonzo was on his perch outside the cage and opened the back door. In 2 seconds he was out the door and in our tree. He was pretty low so we tried to reach him but then he flew into a neighbors tree 2 houses over. HUUUUUGE oak tree. He was up there for three hours before an awesome neighbor (who has an African grey) called the electric company to come out with a lift. We were SOOOO close but he spooked again and took off. He’s currently down the street in another tree. He’s not as high up now (maybe 30 feet) But in our training he has not yet learned how to fly down to me. My husband tried to climb the tree but the branches were too small to get close enough to him. We have an enormous cage that I can’t get out of the house without completely disassembling. We tried taking his large tree stand out there, we tried toys, we’ve tried food, I just don’t know what else to try! We finally had to come home because it’s dark out and I could tell he was exhausted and about to fall asleep after all that flying as he has not done that much yet. I’ve been sobbing for hours and I just don’t know how to get him down!
 

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Shezbug

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Have you ever seen him fly down naturally? Is flying downwards something he even knows he can do? If not I’m guessing you’ll need to keep following and be ready to climb to him.

If you can get him closer to a field you may have some more luck getting him to fly downward at a less steep angle. It’s quite a skill to drop from a tree without going far away from that tree- the more distance he has to make that drop the easier it is for him.

Others I’ve personally known who lost macaws had to wait approx 3 days before the bird was either hungry enough to keep attempting the drop or sit still and wait to be collected.
 
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flyzipper

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You could try to engage an arborist. I know one who works with our local wildlife rescue and have seen them engaged for anything that involves climbing a tree.
Perhaps contact a local wildlife rescue and see if they can suggest a specific arborist (might narrow the list to those who are willing and experienced).

Failing that, be nearby with treats, and hopefully they can make their way down on their own, perhaps requiring multiple flights that are gradually lower. Similarly, if they're not used to flying down, I'd suggest positioning yourself further away so the angle of descent isn't as steep.
 

MacawMom87

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Have you ever seen him fly down naturally? Is flying downwards something he even knows he can do? If not I’m guessing you’ll need to keep following and be ready to climb to him.

If you can get him closer to a field you may have some more luck getting him to fly downward at a less steep angle. It’s quite a skill to drop from a tree without going far away from that tree- the more distance he has to make that drop the easier it is for him.

Others I’ve personally known who lost macaws had to wait approx 3 days before the bird was either hungry enough to keep attempting the drop or sit still and wait to be collected.
He hasn’t flown down. We were JUST starting to get him to fly from perch to me at a distance of about 5 feet so we are so fresh in our flight training.
My husband has a connection to someone with one of those Cherry picker lifts. We can get it tomorrow afternoon. I’m timing if I can get in it and get to him he will home to me. Worst day of my life. I’m so stressed. I feel like I have defended free flighting to SO many people and now I failed my baby
 

MacawMom87

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You could try to engage an arborist. I know one who works with our local wildlife rescue and have seen them engaged for anything that involves climbing a tree.
Perhaps contact a local wildlife rescue and see if they can suggest a specific arborist (might narrow the list to those who are willing and experienced).

Failing that, be nearby with treats, and hopefully they can make their way down on their own, perhaps requiring multiple flights that are gradually lower. Similarly, if they're not used to flying down, I'd suggest positioning yourself further away so the angle of descent isn't as steep.
Thank you! That’s a great resource!! I’ll start reaching out tomorrow!
 

flyzipper

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I feel like I have defended free flighting to SO many people and now I failed my baby
Accidents happen and beating yourself up doesn't accomplish what's needed currently -- for now, just focus on retrieval.

There'll be time to think about additional safety measures when this is behind you.
 

FeatheredM

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Always keep eyes on him, you need to know where he is all the time. Stay calm: he is more likely to come to you if he doesn't sense panic. Always have his favorite treats on hand, that way when you get close enough you can offer them and he is more likely to come to you.
 

Shezbug

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He hasn’t flown down. We were JUST starting to get him to fly from perch to me at a distance of about 5 feet so we are so fresh in our flight training.
My husband has a connection to someone with one of those Cherry picker lifts. We can get it tomorrow afternoon. I’m timing if I can get in it and get to him he will home to me. Worst day of my life. I’m so stressed. I feel like I have defended free flighting to SO many people and now I failed my baby
No use or help running with negative thoughts just now- once he’s back safe with you then you can consider what extra safety measures can be taken in future to avoid something like this happening again… an accident doesn’t equal a failure.

I know if Burt escaped and was sitting up a tree unable to descend and an arborist (someone he didn’t know) came climbing towards him he would definitely take off- I’d personally stick with the cherry picker option if it means someone he knows will be able to go up in it- carefully weigh up which is your best option with the knowledge you have of your bird.

I live with others who aren’t always thinking about birds flying in the house so I personally lock the doors when Burt is out of his cage and everyone knows if the doors are locked they must check with me first where Burt is before they can unlock and open doors.
 

MacawMom87

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No use or help running with negative thoughts just now- once he’s back safe with you then you can consider what extra safety measures can be taken in future to avoid something like this happening again… an accident doesn’t equal a failure.

I know if Burt escaped and was sitting up a tree unable to descend and an arborist (someone he didn’t know) came climbing towards him he would definitely take off- I’d personally stick with the cherry picker option if it means someone he knows will be able to go up in it- carefully weigh up which is your best option with the knowledge you have of your bird.

I live with others who aren’t always thinking about birds flying in the house so I personally lock the doors when Burt is out of his cage and everyone knows if the doors are locked they must check with me first where Burt is before they can unlock and open doors.
Thank you for your kind words. I just headed down there this morning and he still in the tree, he was chatting to me and say hello, but in his “come and get me”tone of voice. I think you’re probably right about the arborist. He definitely got spooked by the electricity guy. There’s a lot of legal jargon that goes into borrowing someone’s lift and getting inside of it. We’re trying really hard to get someone out. I’m going to make his favorite oatmeal and go sit on top of my car nearby and see if he’ll be interested enough to try to fly down to me.
 

Macawnutz

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Skip trying to get him to fly down. Get as high up under that tree as you can and get him to climb down. Every flight he takes you risk him not being seen/found again. Grab any food that he wants. A bag of noisy chips, a block of cheese... I don't care. Don't let him out of your sight. Understand that finding your bird outside is more than half the usual battle. Most people never see their escaped bird again.
 

Nnbal

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How is he now?
Is there any progress?
 

FeatheredM

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What macawnutz said is very important. I SECOND IT STRONGLY. Who he trusts is you, and when I lost my budgie I had to climb a ladder onto a shed to get close enough for him to get to me. If you have to climb up there yourself with a neighbor's ladder do it.
 

Princessbella

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I hope you were able to get him down.
 

MacawMom87

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How is he now?
Is there any progress?
We have rented a 50 foot boom lift from Home Depot. My neighbor is on his way back with it. He knows how to operate it and it’s going to go up with me. I have popcorn, and his food, I feel very confident that he’ll come to me. He’s really accessible. He’s on the edge of a branch over the road so I think I can get right next to him. I know he wants to come down because he keeps holding his foot up and saying step up.
 

MacawMom87

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What macawnutz said is very important. I SECOND IT STRONGLY. Who he trusts is you, and when I lost my budgie I had to climb a ladder onto a shed to get close enough for him to get to me. If you have to climb up there yourself with a neighbor's ladder do it.
I agree. The thought of him flying again it’s too much for my stomach to handle.
 

Toy

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I pray he comes to you. Take his favorite treats/foods. Move slow, keep coaxing him & be patient.
 

FeatheredM

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I have nothing else to say besides good luck, you have a good chance of getting him home because you know where he is.
 
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