Why Do Parrots Live So Long?

Raising a pet parrot can be a very overwhelming commitment for some owners, especially first-timers. Having a pet parrot means the owners should provide healthy food, medical care, social interaction, and many other activities for the bird to stay entertained, happy, and in a well-being state.

These are basics, yes, but remember that these pets live so long, and these basics will be like a lifestyle for you as an owner for a very long time. And guess what, with such a long lifespan, these parrots will outlive their owners in many cases, so owners must prepare everything their buddies need after they pass away, and this preparation could be like putting the bird up for adoption, or bequeathing it to other family member and make sure this member can handle a pet parrot with its all essentials and basics.

This article is about answering why do parrots live long, so grab your cup of coffee and keep reading…

So, Why Do Parrots Live So Long?

Parrots, just like other animals, live longer in captivity, especially with the availability of medical care. However, parrots still live long lifespans in the wild because of many factors, such as.

  • Flying.
  • Relatively Larger Brain.
  • Good Genes.


Yes, flying, flying is one of the most important reasons why do parrots live so long. Parrots use flying as transportation, entertainment, and protection from predators in their environment, and without this ability, parrots might go extinct just like what was going to happen with kakapo parrots.

Besides that, parrots are low in the food chain and don’t have any sufficient defense ability. The best thing they have is flying, which is the most sufficient defense way in the wild, and without it, parrots can get preyed on easily.

Relatively Larger Brain

Parrots have large brains with remarkable cognitive abilities compared to other birds, and their larger brains make them adaptive to a lot of environmental changes that could kill them if they weren’t adaptive enough. Just like us humans, we can adapt to many environmental changes. Thanks to our brains, we use tools and control fire and protect ourselves by literally doing nothing, just staying in our homes. So, the human brain is superior compared to other mammals’ brains and the same thing is the parrot brain when compared to other birds’ brains.

Good Genes

The way parrots’ body function is really absent in most mammals, the high resting glucose level, body temperature, ability to fly, and higher metabolic rates. These factors make parrots live longer than many other birds and mammals.

You might think that higher metabolic rates contradict longevity, and you are right, at least regarding us humans and many other creatures. But regarding parrots, you would be wrong and this is because of the genes they have the ability to prevent cell damage when regeneration and metallization. These genes basically protect the DNA in the new cells and old cells.

Apart from that, the high resting glucose level allows parrots to tolerate high sugar percentage in the blood, 3 times higher than the tolerable percentage in humans, this means that parrots can’t get diabetes like dogs and cats, at least the wild parrot, even captive parrots have a small chance of developing diabetes.

What Are The Downsides?

There is a downside to having a long lifespan for parrots, especially captive parrots raised at zoos or household pets. 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.

Of course, parrots can get sick in the wild, but it’s highly impossible for them to get sick because of some strange illness they got from their owners or other pets in the household. Sickness for wild parrots won’t need professional medical care because it’s from within the ecosystem itself, which the parrot is already adaptive to it.

But for pet parrots, it’s different. Even if the sickness is normal, owners must provide medical care because their parrots are living in a strange environment, not the environment they used to live in for hundreds of thousands of years, and sometimes this new environment the pet parrot living in will discourage recovery.


How Long Do Parrots Live?

Parrots can live for more than 100 years of age, but such a long lifespan needs a lot of attention and care to provide the optimum conditions for parrots to live.

Do All Parrots Live Long Live?

No, not all parrots live long, a lot of parrot breeds won’t live to reach the age of 20 years, these short lifespans are mostly of small-sized breeds. Larger breeds of parrots have larger brains compared to the small species which is the main reason behind such long lifespans.

How long do parrots live as pets?

Parrots as pets with good conditions, diet, and health care can outlive the wild parrots, and most times, they can live with their owners. Unfortunately, this is not the case with all pet parrots. Some of them will die out of disregard from their owners. So, pet parrots don’t necessarily outlive their peers in the wild.


However, such conditions are essential for a parrot to live long, other factors like a good, healthy diet, safety, and mental stimulants that will keep the bird mentally healthy are all necessary for a parrot to live long. Parrots need social interaction as it’s their first thing to do to have fun and sometimes owners can fail to provide such needs for their pets. This neglection can encourage the parrot to get mentally ill and develop conditions of anxiety and depression.