Pet Bird Life Expectancy

When looking to adopt a pet, it’s important to know the life expectancy of any species you are considering. Some pets, particularly birds, typically have long lives, and beyond the joy and happiness they can bring it is helpful for owners to know the costs in both time and money that is required when caring for them over a lifetime.

Birds make for great pets, particularly in environments or households where a dog or cat might not be feasible, and life expectancy is often as important a consideration as appearance or personality. In the following video filmed in celebration of National Pet Bird Day, avian experts Dr. Kemba Marshall, DVM, DABVP (Avian) and Barry Wisebram offer some insights on bird life expectancy so you can be prepared to provide your feathered friends with the care they need.

Bird Life Expectancy

While many species of birds do live long lives, there is often some exaggeration and inflation when it comes to reporting the age of birds. Many people may recall a family member who had a bird that lived their entire lifetime, when in reality the bird might have been replaced by a similar bird. Even though 100+ year-old pet birds are a rarity, parrots in particular are long-lived. Barry explains that parakeets may be expected to live around 15 years, cockatiels to live 25 years, and Amazon parrots to generally 40-60 years. Cockatoos are perhaps the birds with the longest lifespans, at times reaching 100 years or over.

A general rule of thumb is that larger birds live longer lives, in contrast to dogs where the opposite is often the case. Smaller birds like finches, canaries and love birds are often considered to have some of the shortest life spans, with some living 15 to 20 years but many living 5 to 10.

Caring for Your Bird Over Their Lifespan

While all these age ranges are possible, birds—just like their owners—may experience various health issues and thus, their lifespans are often shorter than stated. Nutritional deficiencies are a common malady for caged birds that can shorten their lifespan prematurely, and so it is important for owners properly feed their birds in order to ensure that they live long, healthy lives.
Cleanliness and socialization can also play an important role in lengthening and enriching a bird’s life, and keeping them occupied and engaged is vital. While pet birds can live much longer in a home environment than they do in the wild, improper care or societal stressors can drastically impact their longevity.

At MyRightBird, we know how much joy birds can bring and seek to give bird lovers the knowledge they need to best care for their pets. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to check out our other posts about birds or take our quiz to see which types of birds may be right for you!