Just How Long Do Parrots Live? What's The Average Parrot Lifespan of Pet Birds in Captivity?

two macaws playing with their beaks

Did you know that your feathered friend might actually outlive you?

If you’ve decided to keep a pet bird, specifically a parrot, and are wondering how long do parrots and pet birds live keep on reading.

You’re in for a treat:

I’m going to cover topics such as the lifespan of a parrot and pet birds, as well as the best methods to take care of them and keep them healthy and well to maximize their years.


Common Parrot & Pet Birds Average Lifespans

African Grey

african grey parrot on perch

The African Grey parrot, with its Timneh (TAG) and Congo (CAG) subspecies, is one of the more long living parrot species.

This parrot that can mimic human speech (and that of other parrots) and usually lives from 40 to 60 years, and some live even longer!

Amazon

The medium-sized Amazon parrot is native to South America and the Caribbean, and is a known talker.

This predominantly green parrot species can live for at least 25 years, and can grow so old to live up to 75 years.

Budgies (& Parakeets in General):

budgie eating broccoli

Some can live up to 18 years, while the parrot life expectancy of others is only 5 years.

These long-tailed parrots are the most popular in the world. Budgerigars, the most common type of Parakeets, have a varying lifespan. Their maximum age tends to differ.

Caiques

The Caique parrot is a stocky and short tailed species endemic to the Amazon Basin. Caiques are listed as an endemic species of least concern, and are known for their bright colors.

These inhabitants of forested areas can live up to an average lifespan of 50 years.

Canaries

A canary is a small songbird originating from Macaronesian island, brought to Europe first by the Spanish. Their colors range from yellow, orange, brown, white and even red.

The pet bird lifespan is up to 10 years.

Cockatiels

cockatiel with white background

A cockatiel or a miniature cockatoo are a parrot species endemic to Australia. They are popular household pets that can live from 5 to 18 years.

Cockatoos

A cockatoo can be any parrot that belongs to one of the 21 species. These Australasian parrots are recognisable for their crests and curved bills.

Depending on the exact species they can live from 20 to 60 years.

Conures

A comical and playful parrot that’s known for its curiosity. They’re a large group of small to medium-sized parrots, also known by their more generic name as parakeets.

Depending on the species this parrot lifespan can range from 10 to 30 years.

Doves

white doveThis lifespan is 20 years or more in captivity, while in the wild their lives are dramatically shorter, about a year and a half.

Doves are likely the most common species of bird in the world, together with pigeons. While the names dove and pigeon are sometimes used interchangeably, in ornithology dove is usually a name reserved for the smaller species.

Eclectus Parrots

The native parrot of northeastern Australia exhibit an extreme sexual dimorphism, where the males are usually bright green and the females red, purple or blue. This species are easy to breed, and are calm in captivity.

How long do these parrots live? They live from 30 to 50 years, some even longer.

Finches

How long do these birds live as pets? They can live from 5 to 9 years, and in captivity the lifespan of this parrot is even longer.

Finches are small- to medium-sized birds know for their colorful plumage. They, along with canaries, were used in mines to detect carbon monoxide levels.

The species has an almost global distribution, being absent in the wild on Antarctica, Australasia and the Southern Pacific.

Jardines

The Jardine’s parrot or the red-fronted parrot is a medium sized parrot endemic to Africa. They are mostly green in color, with black feathers on the head, neck and wings, and the red or orange plumage they’ve been named after.

Their lifespan measures up to 60 years, but most captured parrots live to about 30 years old.

Lories (Lorikeets)

These small or medium sized parrots are known for their specific brush-tipped tongue used to feed on fruit nectar.

The species with short tails are most often called lories, while the name lorikeet is reserved for the longer tailed species. They can live from 10 to 30 years.

Lovebirds

lovebird pair perched on branchThe parrot lifespan of this bird is from 10 to 25 years.

Native to Africa and Madagascar, lovebirds are one of the smallest genus of parrots and typically kept in pairs.

If taught at a young age, some lovebirds may learn to mimic human sounds.

Macaws

These colorful New World parrots count 19 species, including endangered and extinct ones. They’re sociable birds that require lots of attention.

Large

How long do Macaw parrots live? They can live from 50 to 75 years, and are known to outlive their owners.

hahn's macaws in cage

Mini (Hahn's)

The Hahn’s or mini Macaw live typically up to 30 years and is the smallest macaw species.

Meyer's Parrot

The brown parrot or Meyer’s parrot is a species native to Africa, known for its turquoise belly and for being affectionate to their owners.

The average lifespan of this parrot is up to 20 years, and are ideal for a novice pet owner that wants an affectionate, yet easy to handle pet.

Parrotlets

They are the smallest New World parrots, and while they’re not exactly noisy, they still require a great deal of care.

These active birds that require lots of space can also live up to 20 years old.

Pigeons

Pigeons are becoming more popular as pets, and are known for being affectionate and friendly pets. How long do birds live as pets?

These loyal birds have the potential to live up to 15 to 20 years, but they rarely live that long, typically reaching a maximum age of 5 years or even 10 years of living.

Pionus

pionus parrot on branchKnown for being easy-going and friendly, these parrots can live up to 25 years.

They’re a novelty parrot that requires a great deal of attention.

Native to Mexico, Central, and South America the medium sized bird is a popular pet choice.

Quakers

The monk parakeet, or Quaker parrot, is a parrot native to South America. They are the only parrots that build nests and are bold and active pets.

When handled properly these parrots can live up to 30 years in captivity, and some even longer. 

Senegals

Senegal parrots make remarkable pets, as they are quiet and calm in temperament. They’re native to west Africa, and can grow very attached to their owners.

The parrot’s lifespan varies, and they can live to the ripe old age of 50 years (in the wild only about half of that). 


The Relationship Between Size and Lifespan

4 macaws together

Parrot is a common term for 279 different bird species. Under the umbrella term, parrots vary by their size and longevity.

There are different sized parrots, from very small birds to actually pretty large specimens that can grow to a length of a 100 cm or 3.3 feet.

It’s a general rule that the bigger the parrot the longer the lifespan

There are some parrots that can outlive their owners, and it’s usually that the parrots in captivity live to their full potential age, as they have all the conditions to grow and stay healthy to reach their maximum parrot lifespan.


Parrot Lifespan Environmental Factors - Improving Your Bird’s Quality And Quantity Of Life

Captivity vs Wild

Parrots, and birds in general, live shorter and more stressful lives in the wild. Because they’re more likely to get sick or encounter predators, they don’t usually reach their maximum potential age.

How long can parrots live in captivity?

On the other hand, captive birds don’t have to worry about predators, and if you take good care of them, about diseases. Settling your bird in a cage with room for climbing, playing and spreading their wings, as well as keeping the cage clean will greatly benefit the lifespan of your bird pet.

Pair that with a healthy diet, and you’re on a good way to keep your pet as healthy as long as you can. Also, consider the breed carefully when choosing a pet bird, since some birds and parrots tend to live longer.

Proper Diet & Nutrition

A proper diet will ensure the maximum lifespan of a parrot, and that your bird doesn’t get sick as often. In short, it will help keep him healthy.

To prevent disease and ensure all the appropriate nutrients you’ll need to feed your bird with seeds, grains, nuts, pellets and fresh vegetables and fruits.

It’s critical your bird gets a balanced diet with appropriate ratios of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals as explained below:

Appropriately Sized Cage

It doesn’t need to be said your bird deserves to be housed in a secure and clean cage.

But you’ll also need to consider the size of the cage. They’ll need enough space so they can climb, spread their wings, and jump around.

Good Physical & Mental Hygiene

How long parrots and bird live will depend on their hygiene, as well as your own. Before handling your bird make sure you’ve cleaned your hands, as well as resisting contact with the bird when you’re feeling sick.

Also:

  • Keep the cage clean
  • Your bird, and parrot especially, should have plenty of toys for exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and self-mutilation.

Full-Spectrum Lighting / Natural Sunlight

When your bird is housed indoors, the lightbulbs we normally use will not offer the full spectrum of lighting that is found outside.

A bird living in such conditions can develop health problems down the line. Because of that, it’s important to ensure full spectrum lighting using special light bulbs.

group of parakeets in full spectrum lighting

Avoiding Accidents 

Every bird should have the opportunity to spend time outside their cages, but with considerations made for the safety of the bird.

Also, hide your non-stick Teflon cookware, as the chemicals used on them are toxic for birds.

Bird-Proofing Your Home

Make sure you designate a room or a space in which your bird can spread their wings and fly around.

But be careful, remove any objects that may cause harm to your bird, and cover any containers with fluid, very warm or unstable surfaces and the like.

Regular Vet Visits (Whether Your Bird Looks Sickly Or Not)

You should at least visit your avian vet annually, even if your bird appears healthy.

Any problem your bird may have might not be noticeable, and it may be too late to help they finally give off warning signs.

Birds are notorious for hiding their problems, and while in the wild that helps them thrive, in captivity it can cause problems.


Additional Considerations 

Most parrots are long-lived, and while that in itself is fantastic, there are some problems tied to their lengthy lifespans:

  • First, don’t expect children to take care of parrots alone, since they’ll not be able to understand how serious a commitment to keeping a bird or a parrot is.
  • There are some species of parrots that can outlive their owners, so try to be realistic and get a species that will live the largest time of their life with you. Or if you can’t provide that, plan for an appropriate new owner for when the time comes.
  • Keep in mind your budget as you will need to provide for your feathered friends for many years to come!

Conclusion

There are many species of birds you can keep at home, and parrots are among the most popular. How old parrots and birds live for depends on a number of factors.

You’ve read about the most common species and seen how long they each live. If you decide to keep a bird as a pet, besides taking in consideration their lifespan, keep the advice of this article in mind.

To thrive and live as fulfilling a life as they can, a pet bird needs to be provided with ample housing, sanitary conditions, nutritious diet and, most importantly, loving attention and care.

How long have your parrots lived for? Do you have any extra tips? Share your stories in the comments below!


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