Catching a bird

An eastern rosella has taken up residence in my garden it has been around for the last ten days. It goes to my bird feeder to which I’ve added parakeet mix and millet. I’ve informed the RSPCA and local vet. How can I catch it? If I can’t will it survive a British winter?

If the bird is tame and used to people, you may even be able to lure it onto your hand with some millet or bird seed. If not, I would say start changing the feed from the feeder to a certain place on the ground and slowly come up to it and catch it in a towel. A live trap is another option like setting a cage outside with food deep inside and you close the door when the bird is in.

Hi, Michael, thanks for the advice, it did let me get near to it during the first few days after it appeared in my garden but it has become progressively more wary, although I have not tried to catch it. I was hoping it would become more confident with me not less, so I doubt if it will come to my hand. I’m wary of putting any feeders on the ground because of the threat from cats - not to mention the local sparrowhawk. I did get a cage but not sure if it is deep enough but will have a go. Would it be best to just have the cage around for a while before I put food in it, just so that it get’s used to seeing it? Jude

No, I’d put food in from the start. If the bird is accustomed to house life and being caged it may go right in looking for a meal.

jude wrote:An eastern rosella has taken up residence in my garden it has been around for the last ten days. It goes to my bird feeder to which I’ve added parakeet mix and millet. I’ve informed the RSPCA and local vet. How can I catch it? If I can’t will it survive a British winter?I wish you the best of luck with catchinh him. I would venture to say that he would not survive the winter, considering they are native to southern Australia. Also, even if he does make it through the winter I doubt he would make it much longer due to predation. Once again, best of luck, keep us posted.

Hi,I have a Rosella that I found in my garden… first we started feeding her. We played Rosella chirping for her from the computer and she was a bit drawn to that. She kept on coming back to us all the time. Then we first put a smaller bird cage outside but the door to it was a bit small and it seemed to scare her a bit. Then we put our big dog cage outside wich has a very big door. We put branches in and food and apple and a couple of hours later she was in! She really wanted to be in this cage, it seemed like she felt safe there. She would not come up to us, maybe about half a meter but thats it. Definitly wouldnt have been able to catch her like that and I think we would have scared her away if we had tried to use a towel. I have heard that Rosellas can lose there tameness quickly, dont know if this is true. So even if it has been tame, some time outside could have made it more wary.Dont know if any of this helps. With us the big cage helped. It could ofcourse also be the small cage would have worked, it would have just taken longer. Good luck!!

rebeccaturpeinen wrote:Hi,I have a Rosella that I found in my garden… first we started feeding her. We played Rosella chirping for her from the computer and she was a bit drawn to that. She kept on coming back to us all the time. Then we first put a smaller bird cage outside but the door to it was a bit small and it seemed to scare her a bit. Then we put our big dog cage outside wich has a very big door. We put branches in and food and apple and a couple of hours later she was in! She really wanted to be in this cage, it seemed like she felt safe there. She would not come up to us, maybe about half a meter but thats it. Definitly wouldnt have been able to catch her like that and I think we would have scared her away if we had tried to use a towel. I have heard that Rosellas can lose there tameness quickly, dont know if this is true. So even if it has been tame, some time outside could have made it more wary.Dont know if any of this helps. With us the big cage helped. It could ofcourse also be the small cage would have worked, it would have just taken longer. Good luck!!I believe in the cage method. They go to it instead of you chasing the bird. Since you don’t know it’s personality that is the safest way to get it inside.

Hi all and thanks for your advice and interest. I paid a visit to Birdworld (a bird zoo) not far from me today to ask their advice and they said that there are eastern rosellas living wild in Britain and suggested that the one in my garden might be one of them. However, I have never seen any in my area and I personally believe that it is someone’s escaped pet, so although I’m relieved to know that it could in theory survive a British winter, I still feel that I should try and catch it. I’m now trying to locate a large and deep cage or dog crate.

If/when you do catch it (or if you can see from a distance) try to check for a leg band. The presence of a leg band is proof that it was a pet. If it is a chick raised to feral parents, I’d leave it be, but if it is an escaped pet, it is best returned to captivity.