How Long Do Birds Live?

If you just adopted a baby bird, you can generally expect to spend many happy years with your new pet. Exactly how many depends on a variety of factors, though, some of which are out of a bird owner’s control.

What bird can live 100 years?

Large parrots like Macaws are among the longest living parrot species. Healthy Macaw parrots live an average of 50 years. But they have been known to live up to 100 years!

Which bird has longest life?

And the record for the longest-lived wild bird: Laysan Albatross – 50 years and 8 months.

What bird has the shortest lifespan?

Canaries and Finches. Finches are among the smallest and the shortest-lived of all pet birds. On average they only live about 5 years, but can reach up to 20.

How long do birds live? Does this question ever come up in your trip to the wild with friends? Or does it ever suddenly pop up in your head and poke your curiosity? Well, heres a quick answer for you, depending on its species, a bird has a lifespan of 4 years to 100 years. Also, a common fact is that bigger birds tend to live longer.

As a general rule, larger birds tend to live longer. The life of the bird at the time of death is shown in years and months:

Size: As mentioned above, larger species, namely albatross, parrots, or raptors, live longer than smaller ones like songbirds, garden birds. Injuries: Under the danger of environmental pollution or predators, they live shorter as breeding successes are low, and they are easily hurt. Conservation measures: It is not surprising that birds live longer in captivity with sufficient care, preserved habitat, and breeding conditions.

Well, it is understandable that many of us assume birds someday turn old and saggy like many other animals. It is a yellow and blue Macaw living in England rumored to be once Winston Churchills pet. We can say breeding, giving birth, and caring for many offsprings can affect birds health.

For species that live near the ground, we can conclude that they could have a shorter life span. Wildlife: Birds in capacity with sufficient protection and care might live longer than them in the wild. They will attach a small band/ring/mini transmitter with a serial number to monitor it on the bird.

Of course, this step should be done with utmost care and efficiency to avoid causing stress for the bird. Afterward, the creature will be released, allowing the device to follow it everywhere and collect data about many things, not just its age. For instance, cavity nesters hide in tree hollows, caves, or birdhouses at night.

Meanwhile, thrushes, sparrows, and many songbirds go for thick bushes to avoid predators. Regarding the harsh weather conditions like rain or cold, they will find trees, grass, or thick bushes to keep themselves safe. Hazards like hurricanes force birds to seek safer places, but many fail to do so.

The reasons for this trend are straightforward, a birds counterpart in the wild can suffer from a lack of food. Meanwhile, birds living in captivity do not have to spend much of their energy and time seeking food. Furthermore, birds living in natural habitats face predators, harsh environmental conditions, and more hazards.

They are more subjected to severe hurt, diseases, and fatal attacks while having the necessary medical care in such cases. Now, you already know the answer to your question, How long do birds live? Hopefully, you have fun reading interesting information related to these species. They spend their lives either in the wilderness or in captivity; many factors affect their life span.

Precise information on the longevity of birds is not easy to come by. It is usually impossible to follow large groups of individuals from hatching to death, so in addition to collecting data directly by banding and recapturing individuals, many indirect methods of estimating age are used. Generally, it appears that the heaviest post-fledging mortality occurs among inexperienced young birds, and that for adults, after they have successfully reared young, the probability of death each year remains roughly constant. In other words, few birds die of “old age — they just run the same gamut of risks year in and year out until they are killed. The annual risk of being killed varies from about 70 percent in small temperate-zone songbirds (adult life expectancy about 10 months; in the tropics adult songbirds are thought to be much longer-lived) to 3 percent in Royal Albatrosses (fife expectancy slightly over 30 years). If a bird lasts long enough, however, the probability of it dying in a given year may once again rise. Common Terns reach old age after about 19 years, and their annual risk of dying then goes up. Life expectancy in birds is closely correlated with size — the larger the species, the longer it is likely to live. But the relationship is far from exact. Some groups of birds tend to have long lives for their sizes, especially the Procellariiformes (tubenoses — albatrosses, shearwaters, and petrels) and Charadriiformes (shorebirds, gulls and terns, and auks). Other groups, for instance titmice and chickadees, wrens, and game birds, are shorter-lived than their sizes would predict. Birds can be very long-lived in captivity. One Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (a common Australian parrot made famous by the TV show “Baretta”) lived most of his 80-plus years in a zoo. Captive Canada Geese have lived for 33 years, House Sparrows 23 years, and Northern Cardinals 22 years. In nature, the life-spans of these species are much shorter. As luck would have it, however, the record for a European Starling in the wild, 20 years, is 3 years longer than for any starling captives. The table on the next page gives longevity records (years-months) of wild birds. Small differences among these figures should not be taken too seriously. For one thing, they represent the upper end of a range — and the range of any measurement is a statistic that almost always increases with the number of measurements. If, for instance, you record the heights of a random sample of 10 American women, and then of another sample of a million American women, both the tallest and the shortest woman are virtually certain to be in the larger sample. So the minimum life-spans of bird species that are frequently banded are more likely to be greater than those of species rarely banded, everything else being equal. It seems likely, for example, that the short record for the Northern Shrike is simply a result of a low frequency of banding. At any rate, remember that with the exception of efforts that may later be corrected, the numbers on the list can only increase. Remember also that these figures are maximum recorded ages. While at one point the maximum record for the Purple Finch was 10 years (it has since been extended to almost 12), of 1,746 recoveries from 21,715 banded individuals, only I lived 10 years, 6 lived 8 years, and 18 lived 7 years. All the remainder lived less than 7 years. In short, the maximum life-span is far longer than the median life-span (the length of the life of the individual that lives longer than half the population and shorter than the other half), which in songbirds is usually only a year or two. SPECIES YR.-MO SPECIES YR.-MO. Laysan Albatross 37-05 White-crowned Sparrow 13-04 Arctic Tern 34-00 House Sparrow 13-04 Great Frigatebird 30-00 Warbling Vireo 13-01 Western Gull 27-10 Brown Thrasher 12-10 Common Murre 26-05 Black-bellied Plover 12-08 Trumpeter Swan 23-10 Wrentit 12-07 Great Blue Heron 23-03 Wild Turkey 12-06 Canada Goose 23-06 Black-capped Chickadee 12-05 Mallard 23-05 Peregrine Falcon 12-03 American Coot 22-04 Sanderling 12-01 Osprey 21-11 American Kestrel 11-07 Bald Eagle 21-11 Song Sparrow 11-04 Red-tailed Hawk 21-06 Black-and-white Warbler 11-03 Brown Pelican 19-08 Tree Swallow 11-00 Mourning Dove 19-03 Broad-tailed Hummingbird 11-00 Sandhill Crane 18-06 Acadian Flycatcher 10-11 Great Homed Owl 17-04 Killdeer 10-11 Northern Harrier 16-05 Dark-eyed Junco 10-09 Blue Jay 16-04 Scarlet Tanager 10-01 Hairy Woodpecker 15-10 Cassin’s Auklet 9-01 Brown-headed Cowbird 15-10 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 9-00 Northern Cardinal 15-09 House Wren 7-01 Red-winged Blackbird 15-09 Golden-crowned Kinglet 5-04 American Crow 14-07 Allen’s Hummingbird 3-11 Great Crested Flycatcher 13-11 Northern Shrike 3-03 American Robin 13-11 Blackpoll Warbler 3-05 Lesser Prairie-Chicken 13-06 Recent work on seabirds by ornithologist Ralph Schreiber of the Los Angeles County Museum indicates that dramatic increases in longevity records of seabirds can be expected as more data are gathered. For example, there are now thousands of banded Laysan Albatrosses that are in their 30s. It is likely that these and some others will eventually be shown to have life-spans of 50-70 years, longer than those of the rings used to band them! The records presented in our list are from Dr. M. Kathleen Klimkiewicz of the Bird Banding Laboratory of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (with the exception of the Broad-tailed Hummingbird, which is courtesy of Dr. William Calder). They are updated to September 1, 1986. Records for all North American species may be found in three papers by Dr. Klimkiewicz and her colleagues published (and one soon to be published) in the Journal of Field Ornithology. Updates of the records in the earlier papers will appear in the same journal. SEE: Population Dynamics. Copyright 1988 by Paul R. Ehrlich, David S. Dobkin, and Darryl Wheye.

It is usually impossible to follow large groups of
individuals from hatching to death, so in addition to
collecting data directly by banding and recapturing
individuals, many indirect methods of estimating age are
used. Generally, it appears that the heaviest post-fledging
mortality occurs among inexperienced young birds, and that
for adults, after they have successfully reared young, the
probability of death each year remains roughly constant.

In
other words, few birds die of “old age — they just run the
same gamut of risks year in and year out until they are
killed. The annual risk of being killed varies from about 70
percent in small temperate-zone songbirds (adult life
expectancy about 10 months; in the tropics adult songbirds
are thought to be much longer-lived) to 3 percent in Royal
Albatrosses (fife expectancy slightly over 30 years). If a
bird lasts long enough, however, the probability of it dying
in a given year may once again rise.

Common Terns reach old
age after about 19 years, and their annual risk of dying
then goes up. Life expectancy in birds is
closely correlated with size — the larger the species, the
longer it is likely to live. Some groups of birds tend to have long lives for
their sizes, especially the Procellariiformes (tubenoses —
albatrosses, shearwaters, and petrels) and Charadriiformes
(shorebirds, gulls and terns, and auks).

Other groups, for
instance titmice and chickadees, wrens, and game birds, are
shorter-lived than their sizes would predict. One Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (a common
Australian parrot made famous by the TV show “Baretta”)
lived most of his 80-plus years in a zoo. In nature, the life-spans of
these species are much shorter.

As luck would have it,
however, the record for a European Starling in the wild, 20
years, is 3 years longer than for any starling
captives. The table on the next page
gives longevity records (years-months) of wild birds. Small
differences among these figures should not be taken too
seriously.

For one thing, they represent the upper end of a
range — and the range of any measurement is a statistic
that almost always increases with the number of
measurements. If, for instance, you record the heights of a
random sample of 10 American women, and then of another
sample of a million American women, both the tallest and the
shortest woman are virtually certain to be in the larger
sample. So the minimum life-spans of bird species that are
frequently banded are more likely to be greater than those
of species rarely banded, everything else being equal.

It
seems likely, for example, that the short record for the
Northern Shrike is simply a result of a low frequency of
banding. At any rate, remember that with the exception of
efforts that may later be corrected, the numbers on the list
can only increase. Remember also that these figures are
maximum recorded ages.

While at one point the maximum record
for the Purple Finch was 10 years (it has since been
extended to almost 12), of 1,746 recoveries from 21,715
banded individuals, only I lived 10 years, 6 lived 8 years,
and 18 lived 7 years. All the remainder lived less than 7
years. In short, the maximum life-span is far longer than
the median life-span (the length of the life of the
individual that lives longer than half the population and
shorter than the other half), which in songbirds is usually
only a year or two.

Maximum Recorded
LifespansLaysan
Albatross Great
Blue Heron Great
Homed Owl

Great
Crested Flycatcher Recent work on seabirds by
ornithologist Ralph Schreiber of the Los Angeles County
Museum indicates that dramatic increases in longevity
records of seabirds can be expected as more data are
gathered. For example, there are now thousands of banded
Laysan Albatrosses that are in their 30s.

It is likely that
these and some others will eventually be shown to have
life-spans of 50-70 years, longer than those of the rings
used to band them! The records presented in our
list are from Dr. M. Kathleen Klimkiewicz of the Bird
Banding Laboratory of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(with the exception of the Broad-tailed Hummingbird, which
is courtesy of Dr. William Calder).

Records for all North American species
may be found in three papers by Dr. Klimkiewicz and her
colleagues published (and one soon to be published) in the
Journal of Field Ornithology. Updates of the records in the
earlier papers will appear in the same journal.

Species

The first factor in determining your bird’s lifespan is its species. While it’s true that birds can and do live for quite a long time, some live longer than others. Birds like budgies and cockatiels, for example, can live for up to 20 years in captivity provided that their needs are met and they are well cared for. This means that they will have a considerably shorter lifespan in general than other types of larger parrots, such as macaws, who can live for nearly 100 years in captivity under optimal conditions. This is based on the bird’s biological makeup and nothing more; environmental factors are not considered when determining the possible lifespans of these species.

The Lifespan of a Bird

Live long and prosper. For small songbirds, that might be seven years!A songbird in the wild has about a 25% chance of making it to its first birthday. It has less than a 50% chance of surviving more than two years. However, if a young bird can survive accidents, disease, predation, migration, and winter starvation, it may live a surprisingly long time.As a general rule, larger birds tend to live longer. It also helps to be at the top of the food chain.A Laysan Albatross has survived 42 years and 5 months in the wild. Parrots in captivity have been known to live over 80 years! Seabirds in the wild seem to live 30-50 years, eagles 20-25 years, hawks 8-20 years. Most songbirds might live 7-10 years, hummingbirds even less than that, and warblers may live only 3-6 years.Here are some of the records for longevity. These are certainly not average life expectancy — these are the all time records! These figures are based on the recapture of banded birds. Bear in mind that results are a bit skewed – it is far more common for larger birds and game birds to be found and have their tags returned than it is for songbirds. The life of the bird at the time of death is shown in years and months:

How Do We Know About Birds’ Ages?

Besides the bird’s body size that must have been the easiest clue for us to guess a bird’s life span, there are several factors that might make our speculation more exact.

How Do Birds Survive Weather Hazards?

Birds always seek shelter before they sleep to avoid predators. To locate a suitable shelter, they must rely on different factors, just like finding food. For instance, cavity nesters hide in tree hollows, caves, or birdhouses at night. Meanwhile, thrushes, sparrows, and many songbirds go for thick bushes to avoid predators.Regarding the harsh weather conditions like rain or cold, they will find trees, grass, or thick bushes to keep themselves safe. Hazards like hurricanes force birds to seek safer places, but many fail to do so. Thus, in huge storms, many birds cannot survive.

Birds in Captivity and in the Wild

As mentioned above, birds in captivity tend to live longer than birds living in the wild.The reasons for this trend are straightforward, a bird’s counterpart in the wild can suffer from a lack of food. Meanwhile, birds living in captivity do not have to spend much of their energy and time seeking food.Furthermore, birds living in natural habitats face predators, harsh environmental conditions, and more hazards. They are more subjected to severe hurt, diseases, and fatal attacks while having the necessary medical care in such cases. Therefore, it is harder to survive in the wild than in an environment with proper care.