Parrots belong to the order of Psittaciformes which has about 393 bird species that include cockatoos, parakeets, macaws, among others. Yes, there may be different types of parrots but all of them have something in common such as a curved beak and zygodactyl feet. Apart from those two, another common denominator among all types of parrots is their long lives. In this post, we will discover how long do parrots live and if there’s a significant difference in their lifespan as a pet and in the wild.
How Long Do Parrots Live as Pets?
Parrots as pets live longer. No one for sure can tell you how long exactly your parrot will live under your care. But, by giving your avian pet the right care, meaning, proper diet, cage size, vet care, your pet can live a long and colorful life.
We now provide you with a list of parrots and the average lifespan if kept as pets:
1. Lifespan of African Grey Parrot
If, we, humans have a genius Albert Einstein, so in the parrot world and that is the African Grey. It wouldn’t be called the ’Albert Einstein of the bird world’ if not for its extreme intelligence. No wonder, this parrot is famous for its ability to mimic and to talk well. It can repeat words and phrases just after hearing those in once or twice only.
If given the appropriate care, the African Grey parrot can live up to forty (40) to sixty (60) years as a pet. Due to its long life, it is not surprising to see some of these birds pass through generations of owners.
2. Lifespan of Amazon Parrot
Another highly intelligent bird, the Amazon is also a good talker and is very outgoing. It adjusts well to captivity and can adapt well to its aviary (provided that the size is correct).
Due to its high level of intelligence, mental stimulation goes a long, long way. If you fail to provide it with its needed social interaction, attention, and mentally stimulating toys, the Amazon parrot can demonstrate some behavioral issues.
How long do Amazon parrots live? If all their needs are met by their human families, the Amazon parrots can live up to fifty (50) years or even longer.
3. Lifespan of Macaw Parrot
Blue and Gold Macaw:
The sweet disposition of this bird makes it an ideal pet. In other words, it can be likened to a pet dog as it is known to enjoy being near its human family.
If you choose to welcome this bird into your family, get your ears prepared. The blue and gold macaw screams and once it does, there’s nothing you can do to stop it from making those ear-piercing vocalizations.
The blue and gold macaw can live up to sixty (60) years in captivity.
This bird is one of the most popular parrot species in town. Next to hyacinth, this parrot species is the second largest parrot. Yes, its large beak may look very intimidating but once you get to know this parrot better, it is actually one of the gentlest in the family of large macaws.
If treated well, it is a pleasant companion that can live up to sixty (60) years or more.
A striking blue-colored and perhaps the largest among all parrot species, this parrot is known as a gentle giant. You’d be surprised because this one loves to play and socialize with its human family.
This giant bird requires full commitment from its owners, and with its long lifespan of about sixty (60) years. So, potential owners should be prepared for a lifelong friend that needs attention, the right care, and company in the decades to come.
4. Lifespan of Cockatoo
The Cockatoo family has twenty-one (21) parrot species that belong to the Cacatuidae family.
What makes them unique among other parrot species is the attractive feathers on top of their heads. They also have crested feathers that come in shades of gray, white, black, and pink.
How long do Cockatoos live as pets? An average of fifty (50) to seventy (70) years. Let’s take a look at the lifespan according to species:
- Moluccan: seventy (70) years
- Goffin: forty (40) years
- Sulphur-crested: seventy (70) years
- Umbrella: forty (40) to sixty (60) years
- Cockatiel: twenty-five (25) years
5. Lifespan of Lovebird
If what you prefer to care for are the smaller versions of the parrot species, then these inquisitive birds are your best bet. As the name suggests, they are very loving, thus, it is best to get them in pairs.
For captive lovebirds, expect them to live and love an average of twenty (20) years.
6. Lifespan of Parakeets
Also known by the name of budgerigars, these parrots are small in size and are perfect if you are a novice bird owner.
The average lifespan is between six (6) and twelve (12) years but could also be longer, about twenty (20) years if cared for excellently in captivity.
7. Lifespan of Parrotlets
Small-sized parrots that are smart, cute, and affectionate, these smallest birds in the family of parrots are earning the attention of bird lovers. However, don’t be fooled by their sizes as these parrots have big personalities. They are feisty, sassy, and extremely active.
How long do parrotlets live as pets? These small ones can live up to twenty (20) years.
8. Lifespan of Senegal Parrot
A parrot that tends to bond with only one member of the family. It is sweet as candy and is pretty much content to sit on your shoulder all day long.
This parrot species is not the chatty type. It is quiet compared to other species. If properly cared for in captivity, it has an average lifespan of fifty (50) years.
9. Lifespan of Caique Parrot
Referred to as the dancing clowns in the bird world, these little guys can turn a rough day into a delightful one. You have no idea what playful is until you see a Caique parrot play in action.
These birds can be affectionate to the point that they can form a strong bonding relationship with their human families.
In addition, they are always on the move and love to impress people with their funny antics. We warn you though, they can get cranky and territorial, too, thus, the caiques are quite notorious for nipping.
This parrot will make you laugh for forty (40) years or more.
Now, what about in the wild, do parrots live as long, too? Let’s make some comparisons…
How Long Do Parrots Live in the Wild?
When you think about how long do parrots live, you may think of those parrots that are kept as pets, right? That said, most bird lovers forget that the origins of these colorful parrots are from tropical and subtropical countries around the globe.
Wild parrots live in warm areas like Australia, South, and Central American countries, Mexico, India, Africa, Southeast Asian countries, and South Asia. The lifespan of parrots living in the wild in these countries is not as long as the parrots that are kept as pets.
Let’s look at the numbers:
- African grey parrot lives approximately twenty-three (23) years.
- Amazon parrot lifespan in the wild is approximately twenty-seven (27) years.
- Blue and gold macaws can live up to thirty-five (35) years.
- Green-winged macaw lives an average of thirty (30) years in the wild.
- Hyacinth macaw’s lifespan in the wild is about fifty (50) years.
- Cockatoo species have an average lifespan of ten (10) to fourteen (14) years.
- Lovebirds live up to ten (10) years in the wild.
- Parakeets live an average of seven (7) to fourteen (14) years.
- Parrotlets have an average lifespan of ten (10) years.
- Senegal parrots live up to thirty (30) years.
- Caique can live an average of fifteen (15) years.
Why Do Parrots in the wild Live Shorter?
Life in the wild is harder as compared to in captivity. Here are the reasons why:
- First, the parrots living in the wild have to search for food. And, since parrots live by the flock, food scarcity is one issue that shortens their lifespan in the wild.
- Second, these birds do not have access to medical care. Not to forget that they are also exposed to predators.
- Another factor that greatly affects the issue of how long do parrots live in the wild is the bird trade. They are hunted by humans for commercial sale.
Why Do Parrots Live So Long?
Basically, there are three explanations for such a remarkable lifespan:
- Parrots’ metabolism is much faster compared to other animals, plus they also have higher body temp and resting glucose. These parameters are known to lengthen their lifespan.
- Parrots have reduced oxidative damage. This implies that their systems have the ability to repair damage from injuries.
- Flying makes it possible for them to escape the wrath of predators. Further, flying is a good form of exercise which makes them healthier.
Factors That Affect the Lifespan of Parrots
When talking about the parrots’ lifespan, different factors come into the picture and these are:
- First, your pet will thrive well in a clean, secured, and spacious enclosure to spread its wings. Therefore, It is best to place the cage in a place where there is access to direct sunlight for it to receive the right amount of day/night cycle.
- The right diet makes a huge difference in its longevity. A good diet consists of seeds, nuts, grains, pellets, and fresh fruits & veggies.
- Access to veterinary care.
- Genetics play a huge role in parrots’ lifespan. As a result, some species are genetically predisposed to certain medical illnesses that significantly shorten their lifespan.
- Stress level. Animals get stressed, too. A parrot that is stressed at all times cannot live a long life, even as a pet. However, you can lower the stress level of your parrot through physical and mental stimulation.
Who Are the Oldest Living and Famous Parrots?
- Cookie, a Cockatoo, died at the age of 83 in 2016. He was known for his captivating antics at Chicagoland’s zoo. Cookie was bestowed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest parrot in 2014 until another older parrot has overtaken the record.
- Poncho, a 92-year-old Green-winged Macaw, has retired from her showbiz career in Hollywood. She was originally owned by Birds and Animals Unlimited, a company that collaborates with Warners and Brothers. Poncho retired in 2002 after filming 102 Dalmatians and now lives like a diva at a nice farm.
- Charlie, a 114-year-old Blue-and-gold Macaw formerly owned by Winston Churchill. Charlie may be the oldest living parrot and now lives in Heathfield Nurseries.
Before welcoming a beautiful parrot into your home, it is in the best interest of the bird that you are aware of how long do parrots live. By this time you already have an idea regarding each parrot species’ longevity. This helps you plan ahead of time so you can provide your avian pet the care and love it deserves in its long life in captivity with your family.
Oftentimes, unprepared parrot lovers adopt these amazing birds and then realized too late that they are ill-prepared. This results in escalating homeless parrots. In conclusion, let’s put a halt to that attitude by knowing the parrots’ average lifespan.