How Long Does Your Parrot Live?

Parrots certainly add more noise, brightness, and fun to your life. No matter if you just bought one or have been living with such a pet for a while, you may be wondering how long do parrots live?

Even in the wild, with many dangerous factors such as predators, accidents, and diseases, parrots can live for decades. For sure, many aspects do influence the parrot’s lifespan in captivity too. 

Today, we know around 400 parrots’ species: some can be kept at home, others – live only in wild nature. In this article, I’ll go through only several species of parrots and their lifespan both in the wild and in captivity.

Also, we are going to discuss some crucial factors that affect the parrot’s longevity. And, of course, I’ll share some ideas on how you can help your parrot live a long and healthy life.

In the Wilderness

The tropical and warm subtropical jungle is not an easy place to survive. That’s why many parrots can’t even reach the reproduction age in the wild and live not more than 15 years. It’s evident that they need to search for food and stay away from predators, making parrots’ lives challenging. 

Another threat is humans that hunt for these birds. More likely, your beloved pet was captured and taken from the wood.

Compared to wild nature, the lifespan of a caged parrot is longer. However, some factors still affect it and can make it shorter or longer.

What Factors Affect the Parrot’s Lifespan?

Food

An adequate diet is a thing that helps a parrot live longer.  To be healthy and active, parrots need a wide range of food; that’s why a menu that includes only seeds is not enough to prolong the pet’s lifespan.

Fruits and veggies are essential elements of a well-adjusted diet for a parrot. 

Parrot Size

Some think that smaller species live longer lives. However, this is a common myth.  Unfortunately, parrots aren’t similar to dogs. A smaller parakeet will live only up to fifteen years, while an Amazon parrot can reach the age of 100 years!

Place of Birth

It’s important to know what environment your parrot originates from. The way it was bred, kept, and grown has an impact on its lifespan. So before you buy a parrot, definitely ask where it lived before and what is his place of birth, etc.

Social Life

In the wild, parrots usually live big groups and get enough socialization.  So when you keep a parrot at home, it may get bored and even ill because of this. So make sure you put enough toys in the cage if you leave your pet alone for a long time. Interacting with your parrot helps to entertain it and ensures it lives a longer life.

Cages

The dimensions of your parrot’s cage contribute to the lifetime of your pet. In a more spacious cage, your beloved pet can easily climb and hang, which is a natural form of parrot activity. Opposite to this, a smaller cage limits the bird’s moves and can make it sick.

Note: The size of a parrot matters when you choose a cage. But even if you have a small bird, make sure its cage is roomy enough so it lives longer.

Living in a dirty cage can cause disease and infection in your pet. Thus, this also affects the lifespan of the parrot. 

Disease

This is something you can’t avoid, unfortunately. But the good news is that parrots get well quickly when they get proper care in time. So once you think your pet is sick, please take it to the vet. Plus, regular checkups will help you prevent any complications.  

You should remember that parrots can catch usual human sicknesses such as colds or flues. That’s why it’s crucial not to contact the bird if you are not feeling well and got any signs of the flu.

So How Long Do Parrots Live In Captivity and in the Wild?

For each particular parrot, there is no exact lifespan. However, we’ve put together some average figures your pet can reach with proper care in captivity.

Specie Lifespan in a cage, years old Lifespan in the Wilderness, years old
Lovebirds up to 20  10 – 15 
White Cockatoo 40 – 60  up to 30 
Lorikeets up to 30  around 15 (small size often makes them easy preys for predators)
Parakeets 20 (but require good care) 7 – 14 
Parrotlets 20+  15 
Senegal Parrot up to 50  30 
Caique 20-30  15 
Green-Cheek Conure 25 ( with a proper vitamin intake) only live up to 10 (because they are prone to Conure bleeding syndrome caused by the lack vitamin K, that is hard to get in the wild)
Sun Conure 30  15 – 20 
Cockatiel 20  10 – 14 
Meyer’s Parrot

(one of the rare parrot specie)

up to 35  10 – 15 
Quaker ( called also a Monk) 30+

(with proper care)

15 
Cockatoos up to 60  30 
Eclectus Parrot 30  15 
Green-Winged Macaw ( one of the most common breeds kept as a pet) 70+ up to 30 
African Greys ( quite rare type, but a very common breed to keep at home) up to 80  up to 50 ( compared to other breeds it’s a long life)
Hyacinth Macaw ( smart and social birds) up to 60  up to 50 
White-Crested Macaw ( very big species, the oldest one known lived up to 112 years; plus in the wild the bird lives longer) 50  60 
Blue and Yellow Macaws 60  only up to 30 (because of the decrease of their natural living areas in the woods)
Kakapo Parrot (the long-living breed) 100+ Up to 90 (still lives longer than other parrots)

Why Do Parrots Live Long?

As per the above table, parrots are likely the pets that can outlast you. However, what is the trick? One reason is the ability to fly. At this point, they develop and train their bodies, prompting them to carry on with long lives. 

Another explanation is that parrots generally meet fewer predators than other creatures in the wild since they can fly. Also, there is almost no hunting danger when they live in captivity. 

Since they live long, parrots will, in general, arrive at sexual development later compared to those who live in the woods. So, when they’re bred at this stage, they don’t give any hereditary inadequacies to their posterity. To wrap things up, birds have lower levels of oxidative harm, which battle debasement to their DNA. This factor additionally lessens the number of diseases in the course of their life.

Green Quaker Parrot

How Do You Tell the Age of Your Parrot?

It’s vital to know the age of the parrot you want to buy. You wouldn’t want to own a pet that is heading to the end of his life.

  1. The fastest way to know this information is to ask the previous owner or a bird’s breeder, as they usually keep a record of the parrot’s age. Alternatively, check the feet band of the parrot, and you’ll know how old is the bird.
  2. Another life hack is to check its eyes’ color. Very young parrots have entirely black eyes. At the same time, adult birds have a yellow iris line that surrounds the eye pupils. Plus, a shorter tail and black beak will tell that you are looking at a younger parrot. The only difficulty is with albino birds. It is hard to understand their age since they have the same iris color during their whole life.
  3. One more thing to check is the physical activity of the parrot. Younger birds usually are more active and move a lot more than older ones. Also, they tend to be more aggressive compared with mature pets.
  4. And finally, older parrot’s feather is less bright and vibrant; they tend to have duller feathering as they age.

What Is the Link between the Size and Lifespan of a Parrot?

There is no clear answer to that question. It’s known that parrots that grow up to 3.3 feet live longer in captivity than smaller ones.  The size of the birds varies depending on their breed and age.

The Lifespan of a Parrot: What Can I Do to Increase It?

The good news is that you can increase the parrot’s lifespan if you follow some simple tips. We’ve listed them below so that your birdy stays with you longer: 

Proper Nutrition

Avoid vitamin A, D, and calcium shortages in the menu of your parrot. This happens if you feed the bird only with a seed-based food that lacks fruits and greens. 

Entertainment and Communication

It’s a well-known fact that parrots are very social creatures, and they need a lot of socialization and interaction. Caged alone for a long time, they get bored fast. So, your goal is to provide them with enough toys to play in the cage, including wooden sticks, mirrors, etc. Spare some time to play with pet birds during the day. Another good option is to get your parrot a mate of the same breed.

African Greys

Right Cage Dimensions

Ensure the size of the cage is relevant for the specific parrot you keep at home. The effect of the tight cage can be harmful.

Activity

Physical activity such as flying is vital for these pets. In addition, jumping, hanging, and climbing around the cage or room if you let the parrot out of the cage – adds to the longevity of your pet.

Health checkups

Arrange a regular checkup for your bird at a vet’s office. Once a year visit will help to catch any health issue before it gets serious. 

Health problems are another characteristic of older parrots. Although some species live longer in a cage, they still develop lots of illnesses related to their age. 

The most often they have:

  • Eye cataract: This disease develops gradually with the bird’s age. When your beloved pet starts to bump into walls or cages bars, almost 100 % of its sight worsens. So to check if your parrot has a cataract – visit a vet and find out what treatment the pet needs.
  • Cancer: Another disease that hits older parrots. Be sure to check your bird for the presence of any unusual lumps or tumors to identify it has cancer. 
  • Arthritis: With age, parrots’ feet become weak, and it may be hard for them to grab something or hang on the cage bars because of this. 

Proper Lights

The light indoors should mimic the light pattern in the parrot’s natural environment. Use full-spectrum lamps in the cage. Otherwise, your pet is prone to disease and health conditions that may cut its lifespan considerably.

Future Care

Getting a parrot is like inviting a new family member into your house. And since most of them live longer than humans, there are some issues related to this fact. Some breeds can outlive its owner. So, arranging parrot insurance or including a provision for the bird into your will, guaranty your pet is not left aside.