PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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I've met Zapdos, but it always flees. That sucks, I dunno what I suppose to do. Maybe I should take Pokemon with Shadow Tag ability with me or something.

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In order to get Moltres/Zapdos/Articuno(depending on the starter you picked) you will need to encounter them 11 times. It is normal that they always flee before you can even select a move. After the 11th encounter you will have to go to the Sea Spirit's Den.
here you will be able to battle only one of them at level 70

Source: Experience

Just a question, do you do something to encounter them or do they just pop up?
They can only appear in a specific area and u need to use repel to increase the chance to appear(no Pokémon will appear but dust the birbs)