how long do house birds live

When looking to adopt a pet, it’s important to know the life expectancy of any species you are considering. Some pets, particularly birds, typically have long lives, and beyond the joy and happiness they can bring it is helpful for owners to know the costs in both time and money that is required when caring for them over a lifetime.

Birds make for great pets, particularly in environments or households where a dog or cat might not be feasible, and life expectancy is often as important a consideration as appearance or personality. In the following video filmed in celebration of National Pet Bird Day, avian experts Dr. Kemba Marshall, DVM, DABVP (Avian) and Barry Wisebram offer some insights on bird life expectancy so you can be prepared to provide your feathered friends with the care they need.

While many species of birds do live long lives, there is often some exaggeration and inflation when it comes to reporting the age of birds. Many people may recall a family member who had a bird that lived their entire lifetime, when in reality the bird might have been replaced by a similar bird. Even though 100+ year-old pet birds are a rarity, parrots in particular are long-lived. Barry explains that parakeets may be expected to live around 15 years, cockatiels to live 25 years, and Amazon parrots to generally 40-60 years. Cockatoos are perhaps the birds with the longest lifespans, at times reaching 100 years or over.

A general rule of thumb is that larger birds live longer lives, in contrast to dogs where the opposite is often the case. Smaller birds like finches, canaries and love birds are often considered to have some of the shortest life spans, with some living 15 to 20 years but many living 5 to 10.

Parrot Lifespan Factors

The three most frequent variables influencing a parrot’s life are diet, veterinary care, and mental state.

If you provide your parrot a clean, safe enclosure with lots of room to climb and spread its wings, they will flourish. Additionally, they should receive plenty of natural sunlight or full-spectrum lighting (as opposed to just artificial light), as this will improve their ability to assimilate nutrients and create a circadian rhythm that is conducive to their mental health.

Since some birds are flock species, they should also be kept in housing with other birds. Despite our best efforts, humans will never be able to completely replace another bird.

Make sure you choose a pet bird from a reliable breeder if you’re buying one. Given that heredity also plays a role in longevity, they ought to be able to give you the parents’ medical histories. Additionally, some owners of longer-living birds must prepare a plan for their bird’s future in case it outlives them.

Maintaining the health and preventing illness of your parrot can also be achieved by feeding it a proper diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, seeds, nuts, and pellets are all components of a well-rounded diet. An equilibrium of minerals (like calcium from boiled eggshells), lipids, proteins, and vitamins is essential to a bird’s health and longevity.

One of the worst things you can do is to feed a bird mostly seeds and nuts, which birds adore. These contain high levels of fat and very few nutrients.

Larger birds generally have longer lifespans than dogs, which frequently have the opposite effect. Smaller birds, such as finches, canaries, and lovebirds, are thought to have some of the shortest lifespans; many only live five to ten years. Some of these birds can live up to fifteen years.

Birds are wonderful pets, especially in homes or situations where owning a dog or cat might not be practical. Their lifespan is frequently a more significant factor than their appearance or character. Celebrate National Pet Bird Day by watching the video below, which features avian experts Dr. Barry Wisebram and Kemba Marshall, DVM, DABVP (Avian) provide some insights on bird life expectancy so you can be ready to give your feathered friends the attention they require.

At MyRightBird, we know how much joy birds can bring and seek to give bird lovers the knowledge they need to best care for their pets. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to check out our other posts about birds or take our quiz to see which types of birds may be right for you!

Although birds can live to any age, just like their owners, they frequently have shorter lifespans than stated because of a variety of health concerns. For caged birds, nutritional deficiencies are a common ailment that can cause them to die young, so it’s critical for owners to feed their birds well to ensure long, healthy lives. A bird’s life can be prolonged and enhanced by cleanliness and socialization, and it’s crucial to keep them busy and involved. Pet birds can live much longer in their homes than they would in the wild, but poor maintenance or social pressures can shorten their lives significantly.

Although many bird species do have long lifespans, reporting bird ages frequently involves some exaggeration and inflation. While many people can remember a family member having a bird that lived to be their lifetime, it’s possible that the bird was replaced by a similar species. It’s rare to find pet birds that live to be 100 years old, but parrots in particular have a long lifespan. According to Barry, one can anticipate that parakeets will live for approximately 15 years, cockatiels for 25 years, and Amazon parrots for 40–60 years on average. Perhaps the longest-living birds are cockatoos, which can live up to 100 years or more.

Average Lifespan of Parrots

Among companion birds, parrots are unique since many varieties can live with you forever. They also often outlive their owners. Because they are less likely to come into contact with predators and illness when living in a home, parrots typically live longer in captivity than in the wild. That does not, however, imply that they are immune to disease or have shorter lifespans.

Generally speaking, a bird’s expected lifespan increases with size. The estimated lifetimes of common parrots and other pet birds are listed below. Naturally, these are based on a healthy bird housed in perfect conditions. In actuality, pet birds can live a wide range of ages, and some will undoubtedly live longer or shorter lives than those stated.

African Gray Parrots 40 to 60 years, or more
Amazon Parrots 25 to 75 years
Budgerigars (Parakeets) 5 to 18 years
Caiques Up to 50 years
Canaries 10 years
Cockatiels 10 to 15 years
Cockatoos 20 to 60 years, depending on the species
Conures 10 to 30 years, depending on the species
Doves 20 years or more (in the wild it is only about 1 1/2 years)
Eclectus Parrots 30 to 50 years, or more
Finches Typically 5 to 9 years but it can be longer if housed in an aviary
Lorikeets (Lories) 10 to 30 years
Lovebirds 10 to 15 years
Macaws 30 to 50 years, or more (up to 70) depending on the species
Pigeons 15 years (in the wild it is only about 5 years)
Senegal Parrots Up to 50 years (in the wild it is only about 25 years)
Pionus Parrots 25 years

FAQ

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.

What pet birds live 50 years?

African Gray Parrots
40 to 60 years, or more
Macaws
30 to 50 years, or more (up to 70) depending on the species
Pigeons
15 years (in the wild it is only about 5 years)
Senegal Parrots
Up to 50 years (in the wild it is only about 25 years)
Pionus Parrots
25 years

What is the shortest lifespan of a bird?

One of the shortest lifespans of any bird on Earth is the ruby-throated hummingbird. Found in North and Central America, it lives for an energetic three to five years only.

What do birds do when they get old?

As birds age, they tend to have a decrease in physical activities as their energy levels go down. Signs of aging can include weight loss, less energy, and difficulty preening. Older birds may also produce fewer offspring and die more readily.