what’s the longest living bird

How long a bird lives depends on the species, its environment, and whether it is kept in captivity.

However, calculating the exact lifespan of wild birds is not easy as once a bird has reached maturity its feathers do not indicate age. Therefore, ornithologists must rely on ringing or attaching transmitters to birds and recapturing them years later to determine their age.

It’s estimated that around 80 percent of baby birds do not make it to adulthood with almost half dying before they have even had a chance to leave the nest. These figures vary greatly between species, and it’s why many birds produce multiple broods and large clutches of eggs each season.

However, once a bird has reached maturity, the probability of it dying each year remains roughly the same, although this again depends on the species and its environment. Small songbirds, for example, have a 70 percent chance of dying each year and have a life expectancy of less than a year. At the other end of the scale, albatrosses have a 3 percent chance of dying each year and have an average lifespan of about 30 years.

In other words, birds don’t tend to die of old age, but face the same risks each year from predators, the weather, lack of food, disease, or hunting and poaching, until they are eventually killed. It a bird is fortunate enough to make it to old age, then the annual risk of it dying may increase once again as it becomes weaker and more vulnerable.

In general, the smaller the bird, the shorter its average lifespan, although this is not always the case. In the UK, garden birds tend to live for only about 2 or 3 years but hummingbirds, which are much smaller than most garden birds, live for an average of 4 to 6 years.

The maximum age recorded for wild birds is often much higher than the average which shows that birds have the capacity to live longer if they manage not to succumb to any of the risks that may kill them. For example, great tits tend to survive for only about 3 years, but the oldest recorded ringed great tit was 10 years and 5 months old, while the oldest ringed magpie was 21 years and 8 months despite having an average lifespan of just 5 years.

Which is the oldest wild bird?

The oldest known living bird is currently a Laysan albatross named Wisdom. She is thought to be at least 70 years old, and she continues to successfully breed and raise chicks.

Seabirds in general have a much longer lifespan than most other birds, living for anywhere between twenty and sixty years on average. Of the other longevity records of North American birds held by the Patuxent Research Refuge, the majority are seabirds as can be seen in the table below.

Found Age
Black-footed albatross Oceania (including Hawaii), Australia, New Zealand and Phillipines 62 years, 0 months
American flamingo Bahama Islands 49 years, 0 months
Grey-headed albatross Antarctica 47 years, 2 months
Great frigatebird Oceania (including Hawaii), Australia, New Zealand and Phillipines 43 years, 0 months
Common murre Oceania (including Hawaii), Australia, New Zealand and Phillipines 40 years, 8 months
Bald eagle New York 38 years, 0 months
Sandhill crane Florida 37 years, 3 months
Sooty tern Africa 35 years, 9 months
Wandering albatross Oceania (including Hawaii), Australia, New Zealand and Phillipines 35 years, 7 months
Brown skua Antarctica 35 years, 0 months
White tern Oceania (including Hawaii), Australia, New Zealand and Phillipines 34 years, 10 months
Greater white-fronted goose Alaska 34 years, 7 months
Thick-milled murre Nunavut 34 years, 7 months
Black-browed albatross Antarctica 24 years, 0 months
Western gull California 33 years, 11 months
Canada goose Ohio 33 years, 3 months
Atlantic puffin Maine 33 years, 1 month
Red-tailed tropicbird Oceania (including Hawaii), Australia, New Zealand and Phillipines 32 years, 8 months
Northern gannet Newfoundland and Labrador and St. Pierre et Miquelon 32 years, 4 months
Caspian tern Michigan 32 years, 1 month

Seabirds are frequently the top predators at sea and are only threatened by ground predators when they migrate inland to breed. They can easily relocate to new food sources if necessary, and weather variations do not have as much of an impact on their food supply.

Additionally, seabirds typically only lay one clutch per year, often in small clutches. Some seabirds only breed every two years. They may wait until they are ten years old to begin reproducing, and they put a lot of work into raising their young. For example, it can take six months for frigatebird chicks to leave the nest, and their parents will continue to care for them for an additional fourteen months. All seabird species, with the exception of phalaropes, have two parents who care for their young. The majority of seabird species are seasonally monogamous, though some, like petrels, breed for life.

The marine environment is harsh for young seabirds, who must spend time learning how to find prey that is frequently widely dispersed, even though adult seabirds have a lower risk of dying at sea. Seabirds can make sure that their progeny reach reproductive age by devoting greater resources to raising their chicks.

9. Chile (Unknown – April 6, 2018)

[vc_column_text css=”. vc_custom_1504985542516{background-color: #dadada !important;}”] Oldest Age Reached: Unknown – believed to be in 60s in 2018 Species and Gender: Female Chilean Flamingo Location: Adelaide, Australia Owner(s): : Adelaide Zoo [/vc_column_text].

photo source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Chile was the long-term companion of another bird on this list, Greater, at the Adelaide Zoo in Australia. Greater had died in 2014 and Chile became the last flamingo in all of Australia. Chile had to be put down in early April 2018 due to complications caused by her old age – she was believed to be in her 60s.

Chile is irreplaceable because flamingo imports into Australia are prohibited, making her the final flamingo to have lived in that nation. Chile had been a resident of the Adelaide Zoo since its arrival there in the 1970s. Elaine Bensted, CEO of Zoos SA, says that plans are underway to have Chile taxidermied and put on display alongside Greater

What is the longest living British bird?

The Manx shearwater is a seabird and the longest-living bird in Britain. It was discovered in the same location more than 50 years after it was first tagged in 1957 at the Bardsey Bird Observatory off the Llyn Peninsula in Wales. It had been tagged when it was at least 5 years old.

On the Copeland Islands in Northern Ireland, a Manx shearwater was also found in 2003, 49 years, 11 months, and 4 days after it had been ringed in 1953.

Once more, seabirds account for the majority of the longevity records kept by EURING, the organization that coordinates European bird ringing programs.

FAQ

Which bird lives up to 300 years?

Among birds in the wild, albatrosses are believed to be the species that live longest.

Is there a bird that lives for 100 years?

Parrots, albatrosses and eagles can all live well into their fifties, all being well. In fact, parrots are the only birds that can live longer than humans, with some types pushing a life expectancy of 100 years.

Which bird has longest life?

Here are the ten longest-lived species, as determined from the date when the bird was first banded and the last date the bird was re-captured or found dead. And the record for the longest-lived wild bird: Laysan Albatross – 50 years and 8 months.