How Long Do Parrots Live?

When looking for a bird as a pet, one might be wondering numerous things: diet, how to properly take care of birds, what amount of time you should be spending with them, or even teaching them to talk. In many cases, some might even wonder how long a parrot is going to live. 

Depending on the breed, parrots can live to be anywhere between 40 to 80 years. However, they can live up to 100 years old! This is, of course, with proper care, diet, and providing them with a clean and safe environment. You will want to make sure your parrot will not be stressed out due to anything going on, so make sure to keep the environment quiet enough for them to thrive in.

We will be discussing many topics in this post today. Since a parrot’s lifespan is not exactly the same as each one, we will go over ten popular birds and their average lifespans, how long they live in the wild, and why they live so long. The last couple of things we will discuss are how you can expand your parrot’s life, so let us get to it, shall we?

How Long Do Parrots Live As Pets? (Average Lifespan)

Over 350 species of parrots are known today, so it is tough to tell how long every one of them is unless you wish to put in that much research. However, the average lifespan of a parrot is 50 years old, but they can live either to be less or much more than that. 

Some parakeets are known to live longer than their owners, which is crazy even to think that small little birds as themselves can live longer than we as humans do! As a general rule of thumb, the larger the bird is, the longer they will live, and the smaller they are, the less they will live. 

Anyways, we have put together a quick chart of some of the most popular parrot species and their average lifespan to get a better understanding:

BIRD SPECIESAVERAGE LIFESPAN
African Grey Parrot40 to 60 years (sometimes longer)
Scarlet Macaw25 to 75 years
Budgies5 to 15 years
Canaries10 years
Cockatiels10 to 25 years
Cockatoos20 to 60 years (depending on the species)
Eclectus Parrots30 to 50 years (sometimes longer)
Finches5 to 9 years
Lovebirds10 to 15 years
Senegal ParrotsUp to 50 years

What About in the Wild?

Parrots are more likely to survive less in the wild than in captivity due to being surrounded by predators. This is unfortunate, but as they say, it is a part of the circle of life. The most common prey animals are hawks, eagles, owls, snakes, and large cats (jaguars and bobcats.)

Why Do Parrots Live So Long?

You may be wondering next as to why parrots live so long. This is because they have a much higher metabolism rate than other animals do. Not only that, but their body temperature and resting glucose are also higher than mammals, so it is safe to assume this increases how long they can stay alive. 

The metabolic factors should lead to a reduced life span instead of an increased one. However, the exception is that they have unique mechanisms that protect them from rapid aging with their improved metabolic process.

Not only that but there was a study that recently found that the cellular rate of energy in oxidative stress was the same in birds but will gradually increase in mammals. Overall, oxidative stress for birds is infrequent as well. So, this is most definitely something to consider for why birds’ lifespans are much higher. 

Factors of a Parrots Lifespan (How to Help Them Live Longer)

There are a few more component factors that come into play when dealing with the lifespan of birds. These things include mental health (stimulation), veterinary care, and good nutrition. Here, we are going to be going over the basics of each one. 

Mental Health (Stimulation)

It is always an excellent idea to provide your parrot with enough stimulation and proper care throughout the day. Most birds like a quiet and calm environment and parrots are no different. However, they do love to make noise at times, so definitely keep that in mind while dealing with a parrot. Here are some excellent ways you can stimulate your bird and keep them mentally happy. 

  • Hold them regularly: Holding your bird for a few minutes every day will provide them with a lot of mental health stimulation. Handling them often will also allow you not to be so frightened. Some of the happiest parrots are those that spend a lot of time with people.
  • Rotate their toys: Birds will get bored of the same mundane toys, so make sure to continue rotating their toys. If you have ever heard of “toy rotation” with children, then the same thing occurs to parrots. Keeping them stimulated enough betters their mental health immensely.
  • Teach them tricks or a new word: Birds are intelligent creatures, as you may already know. They will get socialization time, plus a tasty treat after they are finished. Not to mention you will get to spend time with your bird which will strengthen your bond. 
  • Play music or videos: Birds love to dance and are interested in different sounds, so this is an excellent way to get them both moving and give lots of stimulation.  
  • Provide plenty of food options: Just like we like variety as humans, parrots love variety. Since they were used to it in the wild, it is safe to say they will still want many food options. 

Veterinary Care

© luckybusiness / Stock Adobe

Going to the vet regularly allows you to know if your bird is on the right track to remaining healthy and happy. Not only that, but a veterinarian can tell if something is wrong with your bird or not. It is essential to pick a vet that deals in exotic pets instead of just any other animal doctor.

Another thing to note is that it would be wise for you to find a veterinarian immediately after your bird enters your household. The sooner you get them established, the better. 

Nutrition

When it comes to allowing your bird to live longer, nutrition plays an essential role in the factor. Overall, parrots can eat a lot of healthy fruits, vegetables, and seeds. Here are some other things to provide for your parrot. Always make sure to look up the amount you need to give for your specific breed. We will not be going over this at the moment.  

1. Pellets: The current recommendation should be 50-70% of a parrot’s diet. In fact, the best pellets to feed your bird are ones that do not contain any dyes, sugars, or added salts to the mix. No bird pellets should have these anyways, but some pellet brands we recommend (but not limited to) are the following: 

  • TOPS (Totally Organic Pellets)
  • Caitec Oven Fresh Bites
  • Roudybush
  • Harrison’s
  • Hagen

2. Fresh Foods: Lastly, parrots should consume the remaining 30-50% of their diet of fresh foods. These items include:

  • Cooked whole grains and/or pseudo-grains like rice, barley, oats, buckwheat, quinoa, teff, and amaranth. 
  • Raw or steamed vegetables (more specifically, organic if you can.)
  • Raw, soaks, or sprouted nuts and seeds.
  • Limited amount of raw fruits.
  • Soaks and cooked sprouted legumes.

Famous Old Parrots

It is cool to see how long birds live, especially parrots. Some famous old parakeets have gone down in history for certain things. Let us take a look into some down below:

Poncho

© Anita Maric / Newsteam

This bird lived to be 92 years of age. Poncho lived in the USA and was a green-winged macaw. She was owned by Birds and Animals Unlimited. This company provided Universal Studios and Warner Brothers with animals and creatures if they needed movies. In 2000, she was in the film 102 Dalmatians and retired. She was too fragile to return to the USA, so she settled down on a nice and quiet farm at Becks Pet and Exotics. 

Cookie

©   Nimesh M / Flickr

The parrot, Cookie, lived to be 83 years of age. He was a Major Mitchell’s cockatoo and was one of the most loved parrots in the world, thanks to the Chicagoland Zoo. He used to be the oldest parrot alive in the Guinness World Records book until another bird took over. In 1934, he was one of the original groups of animals in the Brookfield Zoo. Cookie passed away back in 2016, but he was loved by many. 

Charlie

© Future Lawyer

Being one of the oldest parrots alive, Charlie lived to be 114 years old! He was a blue-and-gold macaw and was formerly owned by famous Winston Churchhill when he came into office. She was known to have a foul mouth for imitating Churchhill’s rants about the Nazi’s and when she retired in the life of politics, she reverted to going back to a simple “hello” and “goodbye.” 

It is safe to note that Charlie has no specific known dates on when she came to this world, but with the ages she has lived, and how many years people have tracked her, this is a rough estimate.

Final Words

To conclude our findings, parrots can live up to 100+ years old given the proper care, diet, and from their genes. However, the average lifespan is roughly 50 years. Parrots are incredible creatures that are a joy to be around, so if you wish to get a parakeet to add to your family, we encourage you to do so!

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