Unlike many other mammals and birds, parrots live way longer lives. And it is one of the main characteristics of the most popular pet parrots, is their long lifespan, either in captivity or in the wild. However, parrots live longer in captivity because of the vet care, absence of predators, and food abundance.
Table of Contents
- So, how long do parrots live?
- Average Lifespan For Parrots
- Why Do Parrots Live So Long
- 3 Olderst Parrots
- Final Thoughts
So, how long do parrots live?
With proper care, certain breeds of parrots can live up to 80 years of old, and these are from the larger breeds like macaw and African greys. The smaller breeds can live long compared to other birds and mammals and they can live up to 30-35 years of age.
Yet, this doesn’t mean that wild parrots have a shorter lifespan. In contrast, some wild parrots live longer in wild than their peers in captivity, and this is mostly because of the lack of one or many of the factors stated earlier, or just because the owner is not experienced in raising a parrot as healthy as it should.
And in this article we will try to cover the lifespan of most parrots known as pets. And without further ado, let’s get into this….
Average Lifespan For Parrots
Some parrots can outlive their owners, while others have a shorter life expectancy. And this depends on many factors mentioned earlier. Yet, the most important factor is the breed of the parrot. Larger breeds of parrots tend to live longer than smaller breeds. Another important factor is the mental health of the parrot, and yes, parrots can get and suffer from mental health issues. In fact, most parrots are prone to develop such problems.
Apart from that, the parrot’s family comprises over 250 species, and every species has its own life expectancy. This list will contain the most popular breeds, either as pets or wild.
Kakapo is flightless species of parrots native to New Zealand, and it’s one of the friendliest parrots out there. And this nature put them in danger of extinction. However, the efforts of the government of New Zealand have saved the species after going to a total population of fewer than 50 wild individuals.
There is no pet kakapo these days, but in the past, when the Europeans arrived in New Zealand, these parrots used to be treated as pets, and more often as prey. And these reasons caused putting them into the endangered category.
However, kakapo can live between 40 and 80 years in the wild.
Macaw is the large family of parrot species, and every subtype in the macaw family has its own life expectancy, and in most cases, the hyacinth macaw lives longer than other breeds of macaw, and it can reach 60-70 years in captivity because of the proper care they supposedly get. While in the wild, hyacinth macaws can live up to 50 years of age.
Smaller breeds of macaw have a shorter lifespan. Hahn’s macaw with a life span of 30 years, mini macaw can live up to 25 years are just two examples.
Here are another 14 types of macaws:
|Scarlet Macaw||50-70 years|
|Spix’s Macaw||50-70 years|
|Blue and Yellow Macaw||up to 70 years|
|Red and Green Macaw||20-60 years|
|Red-Shouldered Macaw||25-40 years|
|Military Macaw||50-60 years|
|Blue-Throated Macaw||up to 80 years|
|Chestnut-Fronted Macaw||30-80 years|
|Great Green Macaw||50-60 years|
|Blue-Winged Macaw||up to 60 years|
|Lear’s Macaw||30-50 years|
|Red-Fronted Macaw||25-50 years|
|Golden-collared Macaw||up to 50 years|
|Red-Bellied Macaw||30-40 years|
|Blue-Headed Macaw||30-40 years|
|Cuban Macaw||up to 40 years|
The most popular type of parrot is African grey. This lovely breed has a lifespan of 23 years in the wild. While in captivity, it can be significantly increased with proper care to be between 50 and 70 years.
In fact, the African grey species has 2 subtypes, The Congo African grey, and the Timnah African Grey, which live between 40 to 60 years in captivity.
Cockatoo is a large family of parrots that comprises about 20 subtypes. Every type has its own preferences, characteristics, and lifespan. And these are:
|Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo||up to 50 years|
|Yellow-Crested Cockatoo||20-40 years|
|White-Crested Cockatoo||40-60 years|
|Western Corella||25-30 years|
|Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo||20-40 years|
|Baudin’s Black Cockatoo||25-50 years|
|Blue-Eyed Cockatoo||up to 50 years|
|Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo||25-50 years|
|Red-vented Cockatoo||up to 40 years|
|Ducorps Corella||up to 50 years|
|Galah Cockatoo||up to 40 years|
|Gang-Gang Cockatoo||60 years and more|
|Glossy Black Cockatoo||20-40 years|
|Goffin’s Cockatoo||up to 40 years|
|Little Corella||50-80 years|
|Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo||40-80 years|
|Moluccan Cockatoo||70 years|
|Black Palm Cockatoo||80-90 years|
|Red-tailed Black Cockatoo||45-50 years|
Amazonian parrot family is one of the largest families. It comprises about 35 subtypes of parrot. However, about 12 breeds are known to be pets, and they are:
|Yellow-Crowned Amazon Parrot||80-100 years|
|Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot||up to 80 years|
|Double Yellow-Headed Amazon Parrot||up to 80 years|
|Orange-Winged Amazon Parrot||up to 50 years|
|Panama Amazon Parrot||up to 60 years|
|Red-Lored Amazon Parrot||up to 80 years|
|Spectacled Amazon Parrot||40 years and more|
|Mealy Amazon Parrot||60-80 years|
|Lilac-Crowned Amazon Parrot||up to 50 years|
|Blue-Fronted Amazon Parrot||up to 35 years|
|Lilacine Amazon Parrot||40-60 years|
|Black-Billed Amazon Parrot||12 years|
Conures are a really lovely and friendly family of parrots. There is no certain number on how many subtypes belong to this family. However, there are about 15 subtypes that are known as pets. And they are:
|Green-Cheeked Conure||up to 25 years|
|Jenday Conure||25-30 years|
|Sun Conure||15-30 years|
|White-Eyed Conure||25-30 years|
|Queen of Bavaria Conure||up to 30 years|
|Red-Masked Conure||up to 50 years|
|Nanday Conure||up to 30 years|
|Patagonian Conure||up to 30 years|
|Half-Moon Conure||24-30 years|
|Mitred Conure||20-30 years|
|Austral Conure||30 years and more|
|Dusky-Headed Conure||35-40 years|
|Blue-Crowned Conure||20-30 years|
|Golden-Capped Conure||20-30 years|
|Peach-Fronted Conure||20-30 years|
Quaker is a small parrot family with 4 recognized subtypes. There are no notable differences between them, and the only thing might be the place where each subtype is originated. This breed and with proper care can live up to 30 years. And if you have a Quaker parrot, I recommend reading an article that I’ve written on how to increase the lifespan of your Quaker or any other parrot.
As pets, there are two different types of budgies. The American and the English budgies are both similar to each other and also have the same lifespan expectancy, which can reach 8 years in the wild, and 15-20 years in captivity.
Lovebirds is a really large family of parrots with more than 30 subtypes, while the pet lovebirds can be limited to 9 breeds with different lifespans, and they are:
|Rosy-Faced or Peach-Faced Lovebird||12-15 years|
|Black-Masked or Yellow-Collared||15 years and more|
|Fischer’s Lovebirds||12-15 years|
|Nyasa or Lilian’s Lovebirds||10-20 years|
|Black-Cheeked Lovebirds||up to 19 years|
|Black-Winged or Abyssinian Lovebird||20-30 years|
|Madagascar or Grey-Headed Lovebirds||10-20 years|
|Red-Faced Lovebirds||19-24 years|
|Black-Collared or Swindern’s Lovebird||10-15 years|
Eclectus parrot is a unique species of parrot that thrives mostly on eating fruits and juicy veggies with smaller quantities of seeds and nuts, and this is in contrast to other parrots who thrive mainly on eating seeds and nut. This parrot can live up to 40 years with proper care, and maybe more in rare cases.
Lorikeet is a large family of parrots that has over 50 subtypes. Yes, not all of these types are kept as pets. However, there are 12 subtypes of lorikeets that are known as pets and they are.:
|Black Lory||18 years|
|Black-Capped Lory||up to 25 years|
|Black-Winged Lory||up to 30 years|
|Blue-Streaked Lory||15-30 years|
|Cardinal Lory||25-23 years|
|Duivenbode’s Lory||18 years|
|Edward’s Lory||28-32 years|
|Rainbow Lory||10-15 years|
|Red Lory||20-28 years|
|Violet-Necked Lory||up to 15 years|
|Yellow-Backed Chattering Lory||30 years and more|
|Yellow-Streaked Lory||up to 20 years|
Senegal parrot is another quiet and lovely breed of parrot. This family has 3 subtypes, and all of them share the most characteristics and this includes the expected lifespan. Senegal parrots live between 30 and 40 years of age depending on the quality of food and care they get in captivity.
Pionus is a family of 5 major members that grow up to 12 inches, with a bit of difference in coloration between each type. However, this family of parrots can make really funny and lovely pets, and they can live between 25 and 40 years with proper care and a healthy diet.
Ring-Necked is a family with around 14 subtypes, and every subtype has its own subtypes. And every you count all the subtypes of the subtypes then the total could be more than 50. However, not all of them are known as pets. The most popular types of Ring-Necked family are:
|Alexandrine Parakeets||up to 30 years|
|Indian Ringnecks||up to 30 years|
|Moustached / Mustached / Java Parakeets||up to 25 years|
|Plum-headed Parakeets aka Plumheads||10-18 years|
|Rose-ringed Parakeets||25-30 years|
|Slaty-headed Parakeets||15-25 years|
Parrotlet is a family of about 18 species of small parrots that can grow roughly to 5 inches tall. This breed is similar to quaker parrots still, both are not relatives. Parrotlets can live between 15-20 years as pets, and much shorter lifespan in wild.
Caique parrots are just 2 subtypes, the White-bellied Caique with a life expectancy of 25-40 years. The other subtype is Black-headed Caique with a life expectancy also up to 40 years. However, this longevity can be achieved mostly in captivity with proper care.
Why Do Parrots Live So Long
The way parrot’s body function is really absent in most mammals, the high resting glucose level, body temperature, ability to fly, and higher metabolic rate are what make parrot live longer than many other birds and mammals. And in many cases, a parrot can outlive its owner if it gets what it needs of care and diet.
However, these are the essentials for a parrot to live long, other factors like a good, healthy diet, safety, mental stimulants that will keep the bird mentally healthy are all necessary for a parrot to live long.
And with such a long lifespan, there is another downside that comes with parrots. And it’s their sensitivity and vulnerability to get sick, either mentally or physically. And for your pet parrot to reach such ages, you must provide the optimum condition, and honestly, this is really hard, and money consuming.
3 Olderst Parrots
There are exceptional cases of 3 parrots who lived really long life, and sometimes it’s more than their natural life expectancy. One of them is a proven case, while the other two are just claims. Whatever the case, it doesn’t deny that these 3 parrots have lived a long happy life. And these 3 are:
Charlie was a blue and yellow female macaw it was claimed that is lived 114 years. However, these claims are not proven. Yet it was last reported was 2014 and it’s unknown if it still living.
Poncho, the green and red female macaw who was the Hollywood star that appeared in multiple movies with Jim Carey and Eddie Murphy. Along with the famous movie of 102 dalmatians, which was recorded in Britain. Poncho died at the age of 91 back in 2016.
Cookie is the oldest parrot of the cockatoo family. He belongs to major Mitchell’s subtype, and it was proven that he lived to the age of 83, and he died back in 2016.
Final thoughts about how long do parrots live are that there is no certain age for any of these species that they are guaranteed to live. And the species I included in this article and mostly pet parrots with some of the rare and endangered species. There are a lot of species with unknown information about long is their lifespan.
These lifespans mentioned in the above tables are mostly possible with proper care, a lot of these breeds will live much shorter lifespans in captivity due to lack of experience and deficient diet systems.
And yup’ that’s about it. I hope you find this article informative and easy to digest. Thank you for reading…