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Preventing Budgie Escapes

No owner should have to deal with the heartbreak of an escaped budgie. Here are some birdproofing tips to reduce the chances of a fly-away!

By nature, budgies are quick and curious animals that love to explore their environment. Although this makes for endearing personalities, it can also spell disaster if your home isn’t properly birdproofed. Escapes can happen in the blink of an eye. 


No owner should have to deal with the heartbreak of losing a bird to a simple safety oversight. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of birdproofing so you can make your home as safe as possible for its winged inhabitants.

Can Escaped Budgies Survive in the Wild?

Budgies that have been raised in captivity typically fare very poorly in the wild.

Our pet budgies are completely dependent upon us for care. We regulate the temperature of their environment, give them nutritious food at regular intervals, and try to keep them out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, this means that a budgie that escapes through an open window (and isn’t quickly recovered) has an extremely slim chance of survival. This is why it’s so important to prevent escapes in the first place.

What is Birdproofing, and Why Is It Important?

Birdproofing is the process of eliminating or mitigating risks in your home that could put your bird in harm’s way.

Essentially, birdproofing is how we, as owners, must adapt our homes and lives to ensure the safety of our feathered friends. Just like feeding and cleaning, birdproofing is an essential step in caring for your pet. As you’ll see in our list below, a lot of birdproofing deals with securing entries and exits to prevent escapes. But some birdproofing, like double-checking that your birds are in their cage before you leave the house, is more behavioral than environmental!

How Do I Birdproof My Home?

1.) Basic Prevention

As bird owners, mistakes happen. Even the most diligent owner will slip up at some point. The key to preventing accidents isn’t about being perfect at every turn, but rather about creating systems that will catch you when (not if!) you make a mistake, or at the very least, make mistakes less likely. Additionally, unless you live alone, a careful system of birdproofing will help prevent your roommates and/or family members from making mistakes as well. 

A major part of birdproofing is basic diligence, practiced consistently by every member of your household. For example, the people in your home should double-check that all budgies are accounted for and in their cage before heading outside, stepping onto the patio, or opening windows. Doors to bathrooms should stay closed, and lids on toilets should be down whenever possible to minimize the risk of drowning. 

If every member of the household maintains these basic safety habits, opportunities for accidents and escapes decrease greatly.

2.) Zip Ties for Cage Security

Anytime you take a bird outside in a travel cage, use zip ties to hold the cage together and secure its doors shut. Place a zip tie at each of the cage joints (i.e., where the top piece meets the bottom plastic foundation) and at every door.

Why? Extra insurance. By zip tying your travel cage together, the cage will not open easily even if it is tipped, dropped, or jostled, and nobody (human or bird!) can accidentally open any doors.

One of the most frequent reasons for fly aways are travel cage accidents. Because many cages are locked together with metal hinges meeting metal, a travel cage carried from the top can come apart and the plastic base fall open, scaring the bird and causing them to fly away very quickly. 

3.) Secondary Containment

Have you ever been to the butterfly exhibit at a zoo? To enter, you have to go through a door into a small room, then shut the door behind you. Only after shutting this first door can you open the second door, giving you access to the exhibit. When you exit, you repeat the process, double checking in the small room that no butterflies have followed you or are hanging onto your clothes. 

 

Many houses and apartments have spaces like this, and you can easily create this type of two-door separation by carefully choosing where you place your birds. For example, some houses have a front screened-in patio that can function as the “safety zone.” In many apartments, front doors don’t open directly to the outside world, instead leading to hallways or stairwells. Or you can simply place your birds in a room away from your front door, and make sure that the room to this door is shut before you leave the house. 

 

This airlock-type, two-door system gives you time and space to ensure none of your birds are at risk of escaping to the outside world.

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4.) Window Locks

You can add locks to your windows and stash the keys in a separate location. This way, you can control who opens your windows and when. This could be especially helpful if you’re sharing a space with children or visitors who might open a window without thinking. 

 

You can also establish house rules regarding windows. For example, windows without screens might stay permanently shut and locked, while windows with screens can only be opened if all birds are in their cage.

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5.) Appropriate Equipment

Thinking of taking your birds out in a travel cage? It would be wise to invest in a carrier with the proper measurements. Budgies require 0.375″-0.5″ bar spacing. Anything bigger (even a 0.6” wide space!) and your birds will almost certainly be able to squeeze some or all of their body through. Proper travel cages also have special heavy duty locks rather than simple sliding doors, and other adaptations made specifically for outdoor use. Check out some recommendations here.

6.) Magnetic curtains

These self-closing curtains are a must-have for every bird owner’s home. They attach to any standard doorway and automatically close behind you as you go in and out. This makes it more difficult for a bird to follow you out of the room if you want them to stay inside. For example, a magnetic curtain could be ideal in a kitchen entryway to prevent birds from entering while someone is cooking or the stove is hot.

Wrapping Up...

Mistakes happen. But if we take steps to safeguard our homes by locking windows, creating boundaries with magnetic curtains and two-door systems, and reinforcing travel carriers, we can minimize the frequency and severity of these mistakes. 

 

Looking for more budgie safety tips? Check out our guide to parrot-safe cleaning. Or, if you’re thinking about taking your budgies out on the town, see our article on travel carriers here. And don’t forget–we’re on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube! Connect with us on social media to stay in the loop.

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  1. Pingback: The Travel Cage Safety Tip You Can’t Forget - The Budgie Academy

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