how long do birds live uk

As there are many species of birds, and as they come in all shapes and sizes, there is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. Most common garden birds here in the UK have a life expectancy of between 2 to 5 years. The Blue Tit, for example, has a 2.7 year life expectancy, but there is fully documented, recorded evidence that a particular Blue Tit lived for more than 21 years.

The oldest ever recorded UK bird was a Manx Shearwater that lived for 52 years. We need to take into account the area where the bird lives, as this can make a huge difference in life expectancy. Magpies for example, have a life expectancy while living in the countryside of 2.3 years, but those living in towns or cities tend to live longer, on average 3.8 years.

Hunters (Birds Of Prey)

Although there aren’t many raptors in the UK, these birds’ average lifespans show how long they typically live.

When it comes time to make the kill, these modest, quiet, and content birds are brutal. Although they live an average of 15 years, there have been cases where they have lived 29 years.

Although their average lifespan is six years, peregrine falcons have been known to live up to 19 years in North America.

In the wild, ospreys can expect to live for nine years on average. The oldest osprey on record is 25 years.

Sparrow hawks are frequently spotted beside major highways and roads throughout the United Kingdom; their lifespan is approximately four years.

The UK’s mountainous regions have seen a gradual recovery of the Golden Eagle. Their average lifespan is 23 years, but one has been known to live over 31 years.

how long do birds live uk

Which Factors Are Relevant In Determining A Wild Birds Lifespan?

The lifespan of wild birds is influenced by a few factors, which are as follows:

  • How Many Young They Rear Fewer bird offspring generally have longer lifespans than large brooders.
  • How Long It Takes For The Young To Reach Adulthood: Adult birds typically live longer than similarly sized birds whose young mature faster if the young take a long time to mature enough to fend for themselves.
  • Where They Live: Urban birds of the same species typically live longer than those who live in rural areas. Birds that nest in the canopy and live in trees also typically have longer lifespans than birds that nest on the ground.
  • Do Birds That Nest on Islands and Fly Between Themselves Have Longer Lives Than Their Continent-Dwelling Companions?

how long do birds live uk

How Is The Age Of Birds Determined?

In the United Kingdom, wild birds are ringed in order to monitor their migration paths and other activities; consequently, their age is also noted. For common birds, this works best because it allows us to obtain results from a large number of birds, which aids in the accuracy of our estimate.


What is the lifespan of a common bird?

The general rule is that the smaller the bird, the shorter its lifespan. Garden or songbirds are usually quite small, giving them an average of around 2 to 5 years of mortality. Going up the size scale, we’ve found that the average age of hawks is 8 to 20 years, eagles 20 – 25 years, seabirds can be from 30 – 50 years.

Which bird has longest lifespan?

The bird with the longest lifespan is the albatross. Albatrosses are a family of large seabirds that are known for their ability to travel vast distances across the oceans, often flying for months without landing. The average lifespan of an albatross is around 50 years, with some species living up to 70 years or more.

How long do birds live naturally?

The Surprisingly Complex Science of Bird Longevity. How long do birds live? Whether you want to ace this question at your next bird-themed trivia challenge or just impress someone spontaneously, here’s the answer: Birds can live between four and 100 years, depending on the species.

What is the oldest bird alive today?

Wisdom with one of her chicks, in March 2011
Laysan albatross
c. 1951 (age 72–73)
Known for
World’s oldest known wild bird; world’s oldest banded bird