1. Bird Species
Your flier needs to attract the attention of passersby who are most likely in a hurry, so keep the text simple. Only include essential information; there will be a section to include more detail later. For this reason, a good rule is to limit descriptions of your bird to its species. For example, use hyacinth macaw or cockatiel.
2. Pet’s Name
Enter the name your bird is most likely to answer to. This way, if someone has seen your poster and spots your bird, they can call out the name your bird is used to hearing. If your bird’s full name is Sweet Georgia, but everyone at home calls her “Georgia,” put Georgia on the flier.
3. Date and Location
List a major intersection or a well-known business or street near the location where your bird was last seen. Putting “at his loving family’s home” will not help. Make sure it’s a location that people can recognize and will remember.
Enter any information that you think would be useful in identifying your bird. Include a brief description of species, colors (mutation type, any significant color makings), physical (missing toe, scars), talking ability (phrases your bird regularly says), whether your bird’s wing feathers are trimmed, etc. If your bird has a leg band, include which leg it is on and any numbers or letters on it.
NOTE: Remember to leave one bit of useful information off of the flier to identify your bird later. For example, if your bird has a missing toenail, don’t specify which one. If someone contacts you and claims they have found your bird, use the information you withheld to verify it. In this case, ask which toenail is missing (right or left foot). This strategy will help protect you against people looking to scam you.
5. Contact Information
For your safety, only include your first name and a telephone number where you can most easily be reached, such as your cell phone. If you check your e-mail frequently, you may also want to include an e-mail address.
If you decide to offer a reward, indicate so on your flier. Never post any amount of reward, as you may just attract scammers looking for money.
Upload a recent photo of your bird. Make sure that the photo shows your bird’s entire profile so that people can easily identify him or her. If you don’t have a digital photo to upload print out the final flier and paste a photo on before photocopying.
8. Final Touches
Once you’ve completed and printed your Lost Bird Flier, there is one more thing you can do to ensure that your sign gets noticed. Attach your new 8 1/2-inch by 11-inch flier to a larger piece of colored poster board. Fluorescent colors work best and will ensure that as many people as possible know to keep an eye out for your missing bird.
Also be aware that some communities, such as gated communities and those with homeowner associations, may prohibit posting fliers or have restrictions on where they can be posted. In these areas, contact the homeowner’s association for its specific guidelines. Assure them that you will take down the fliers when your bird is found or within a reasonable amount of time.
Now that you have your BirdChannel.com flier, remember, the most important part of any search for a missing bird is being persistent and never giving up hope. Good luck!