Today my parakeet Steve flew away and it's all my fault!!! My heart is heavy & sore. I'm sorry to have failed him so. I should have been more careful & attentive to him. He lived in a nice roomy cage out on our not-so screened-in porch here in sunny South Florida. The many recent hurricanes tore out many of the screens, and we have never replaced them, figuring it would only attract more storms. Steve's wings were clipped when I bought him, and he was somewhat finger-trained at that time. But I didn't handle him on a regular basis, and didn't pay attention to the re-growth of his wing feathers. Today I had bought him a fresh millet spray while at the pet store, and was putting it into his cage this afternoon. While I was there I decided it would be a good time to try to handle him a bit. The poor little guy ran all around his cage trying to get away from my hand. I persisted, thinking he would calm down once he was on my finger. That's what used to happen. But this time he flew out of the cage!!! Steve landed on one of the intact screens, seemingly as surprised as I was. I grabbed a butterfly net and tried to catch him. But when I brought the net near him... ...he flew out of the porch, turned right, and hasn't been seen since... We all looked & looked everywhere, but never saw even a glimpse of him, never heard a cheep. I was hoping he would get tired & land in the grass where we could easily catch him. But our yard and the neighbors' are filled with thick trees and bushes. He could have been ANYwhere. Yes, there's a chance he could survive on his own, there's lots of places to hide, lots & lots of berries & seeds he could find to eat. I remember once seeing a parakeet who traveled with a flock of sparrows & seemed to be getting along well. But there are also many many predators out here, and I don't know how strong Steve's instincts are, how many skills he possesses. We are praying & praying that somehow, miraculously, Steve will return to his cage. I've left the door open and fresh seed in his cup. I also filled up the wild bird feeders with fresh seed. If nothing else, let Steve remind the rest of you parakeet keepers to be more careful & attentive with your little friends than I was with him.