Thank you for sharing your story it may serve to help others. I really recommend outside time be done with some kind of caging. Pop up laundry baskets with a plant inside work well.
He looks like he was having fun at leasti really messed up here and feel like the luckiest idiot in the world right now. Wesley was gone for a week, in a wooded area, next to a much BIGGER wooded area with many hawks. i am in MA. this could have been bad. but after a week straight of searching day and night, sobbing, climbing trees, falling, ripping up bushes, and looking completely insane as neighbors watched me climb trees at night with a headlamp in tears, literally covered in bruises and cuts from all my frenzied tree climbing, i finally got him back.
so basically i thought it would be a good idea to let him hang in a tree in the yard of my parents' tree-surrounded house while visiting. i live in the city so he never gets to live like that. tree i put him in didnt touch other trees, provided great leaf cover, and both shady and sunny spots. he was so happy. i was within view of him, but not close enough, or attentive enough. working on my comp, checking him up close every 20 min. but one time i let a little more time go by - about 45 min, without checking. i know- it wasnt my smartest moment. no wes. no wes in the surrounding area. no wes on the ground. the search continued into the night.
2 sightings were made the next days, both VERY high up...tree pictured here (may look climbable but is very not). ALSO its a drought here right now and there has not been a lick of rain this whole time. i sprayed everything w a hose 2x daily (i also feel horrible about that bc the environment), with the help of my mom, who took over the spraying while i went home to my apartment for 2 days mid week to give my cockatiel some more out of cage time and SLEEP. i think the hosing is what saved his life from dehydration.
today, exactly 1 week from the day he got lost, i was spraying the area and it must have spooked him bc he popped out of a bush (one that id looked thru inside and out just before) and he started climbing pictured branch..up a HUGE tree.. i thought i was imaginging it bc i havent slept, but there he was. he was angry to be back at first, but now he has settled back in and is sleeping like a little angel in his pj's back in his big cage at my house. but this is really thanks to my amazing mom for continuing the spraying, and our relentless searching. to anyone else who loses their cham outside, do not give up...and do not lose hope. they are VERY GOOD AT HIDING, obviously..but that also means very hard for predators to catch. so they are prob alive out there and u cannot lose hope.
*photo 3 -him acting sketchy pre-losing him (WHY DID I WALK AWAY?)
*photo 4 - first sighting