How Long Do Birds Live (And Why)?

How Long Do Birds Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 5 to 10 Years

Birds are popular pets because they are attractive, interesting, and can live a long time. Parrots, or hookbills, are the most frequent family of birds kept as pets, and they belong to the Psittaciformes group, which includes tropical and subtropical species.

Parrots come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they come from all over the world. Macaws, budgerigars (or budgies), cockatoos, cockatiels, Amazon parrots, and numerous types of parakeets are among the most popular pet parrots.

It’s critical to understand how long a pet bird will live and how to keep it happy and healthy throughout its life before deciding to bring one home.

How Long Do Birds Live

How Long Do Birds Live?

Size Of BirdAverage Age
Small2-5 Years
Medium8-15 Years
Large20-50 Years

Of course, seeing the same bird in your garden is possible, but the chances of seeing the same feathered buddy drop over time, and perhaps more quickly than we would have anticipated. Songbirds will make up the majority of the birds we see at feeders, with a few larger birds like woodpeckers, cardinals, and jays tossed in for good measure.

The rule of thumb is that the smaller the bird, the lower its life expectancy. Garden or songbirds are small, with a death rate of 2 to 5 years on average. We discovered that hawks had an average age of 8 to 20 years, eagles have an average age of 20 to 25 years, and seabirds have an average age of 30 to 50 years.

However, because warblers are frequently considerably smaller than your usual songbird, they only live 3–6 years on average, while hummingbirds live 9 years on average. The longest longevity reported for several of these birds has been substantially longer: the average age of a blue tit is 2.7 years, but the oldest recorded too far was nearly 21 years.

Why Do Birds Live For That Long?

The figures above are based on information gleaned by collecting data on specific species. Since birds don’t chant Happy Birthday to one another while munching a cake with a specific number of candles, the only practical approach now in use is to connect a band or ring embossed with a special code to the bird’s leg or to attach a tiny transceiver to the bird’s body.

The best time to accomplish this is right after the eggs hatch, but because there’s a possibility of the adults abandoning the nest, the birds are caught by hanging a mist net. This is a fine-mesh net that is frequently strung between two poles or trees in an area where there is a known high bird population, and the poor things are simply waiting for them to try to fly through the space and be trapped in the net.

Although the kidnapped bird must experience some stress, the person licensed to carry out this procedure is nothing short of saints, and handle the birds with care, speed, and efficiency, ensuring that they are released as soon as possible.

The ring or transmitter is clipped onto the bird’s leg or around the neck in a matter of minutes, and they’re off. Those nets will be built again over time, and the rings on captured birds will be logged before they are released. In the past, devices like this were used to primarily track migration, but the data is now being utilized to compute survival rates, which can help us calculate the average bird age.


Most birds have a tough time determining their age and lifespan. However, we do know that the size of a bird’s life expectancy is closely tied to its size: the greater the species, the longer it is expected to live. However, the connection isn’t exact.

Some bird species, such as albatrosses, shearwaters, and petrels, as well as the Charadriiformes, live relatively lengthy lives for their size (shorebirds, gulls, and terns, and auks). Other species, such as titmice and chickadees, wrens, and game birds, have shorter lifespans than their size suggests.

Birds can live up to 60 years, with some species such as parrots, vultures, albatrosses, and eagles perhaps living longer. Birds’ long lifespans should come as no surprise, given their close kinship with long-lived reptiles like turtles and tortoises.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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