How Long Do Parrots and Other Pet Birds Live?

Woman being affectionate with her pet parrot
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Parrots comprise a group of birds that includes 279 different species. They vary in size from small birds that can fit in the palm of your hand to large birds the size of a cat.

Pet birds can live quite long -- potential owners need to be aware of the age their bird might reach and be prepared to provide proper care for the bird over its entire life span. As a general rule, the larger the bird, the longer the expected life span.

Listed below are some estimated life spans for common parrots and other pet birds. These are, of course, based on having a healthy bird kept under ideal conditions. In reality, there is a wide range in the age that pet birds might reach, and certainly some will live longer than the ages listed below:

  • Budgies: 15 years
  • Macaws: 60 years
  • Doves and Pigeons: 20 years
  • Macaws: 50-100+
  • Cockatoos: 40-60+
  • Amazons 50-70+
  • African Grays: 50-60+
  • Eclectus: 65-85
  • Conure: 12-30
  • Lories and Lorikeets: 13-25
  • Caique: 30 years
  • Senegal: 50 years
  • Cockatiel: 12-20 years
  • Parakeets 7-18 years
  • Lovebirds: 15-25 years
  • Canaries: 10-15 years
  • Finches: 5 -10 years
  • Green-Winged Macaw: 64 years
  • Blue and Gold Macaw: 43 years
  • Military Macaw: 30 years
  • Pekin Robin: 15 years

Parrots as Pets

Parrots are special among pet birds as they have the potential to be with you for your entire life. They live longer as pets in captivity because they are less likely to encounter predators and disease.

Factors that affect its life as a pet include nutrition, veterinary care and mental health. Your parrot will thrive best if you give it a secure cage (clean it regularly) with plenty of space to climb and spread its wings. He should also get lots of natural sunlight or full spectrum lighting rather than only artifical light, as it will allow him to better process nutrients.Make sure to choose a bird from a trustworthy breeder who can show health information about the bird's parents and health history as genetics are also a factor related to longevity.

Diet and Lifespan

Giving your parrot an appropriate diet will help keep him healthy and help prevent disease. A well-rounded diet includes pellets, grains, seeds, nuts and fresh fruits and vegetables. A balance of vitamins, protein, fats and  minerals is critical maintain a bird's health and longevity. Giving a bird a diet that consists mainly of sunflower seeds (which birds love) is the worst thing you can do as it contains high levels of fat and few nutrients. Also give your parrot a good source of calcium, like boiled eggshells, to help maintain strong bones.

Fun Parrot Fact

One of the most renowned parrots is a macaw named Charlie, said to be 104 years old. First  owned by Winston Churchill, Charlie now lives out his retirement at Heathfield Nurseries in England. While it was once said that the bird screamed anti-Nazi sentiments, he doesn't talk as much now in his old age and limits his speech to "hello," "goodbye" and "how are you?"