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Wild Birds How Long Do Birds Live?

Wild Birds: How Long Do Birds Live?

Birds are extremely interesting animals. There’s a good reason why bird watching is so common: there are more than 9,000 recognized species. What do we know, though, about birds in the wild? When compared to humans, how long do birds typically live? How applicable are their experiences to our own situations, particularly in regard to our health? Although the average lifespan of a wild bird has never been studied or reported, there have been some notable exceptions.

It’s been documented that some species of parrots can outlive their owners by decades. A bird’s lifespan is influenced by its surroundings and diet just like any other wild animal’s.

In the United States, for instance, African greys kept as pets have lived as long as 60 years, but their wild relatives seldom live past the age of 35.

Birds don’t age as we do

They don’t live decades or years. When a bird turns one, it counts as one year of age. So, a bird’s first two years last two bird years.

Now we’ll examine the typical habitats of wild birds in various regions around the globe.

North America (US & Canada):

Since there are over 300 distinct North American bird species, each with its own unique ecology, diet, and lifespan, it’s tough to generalize about these creatures’ longevity.

However, other research suggests that smaller bird species, such as warblers, have a longer lifespan than larger bird species, such as vultures. Several species of North American birds have been documented to live up to 10 years, and others are thought to have a maximum lifespan of 20 years.


There are so many different types of birds in the United States that it is difficult to estimate their median lifespan. However, the average lifespan of a bird is 5-10 years.

Europe & Asia:

The average lifetime of wild swans and geese has been drastically reduced as a direct result of the colder climates in which these species are found. Comparatively, the lifespan of geese is just 12-15 years, whereas swans can live for up to 25 years.

Given that fruit and vegetables are more likely to be found in their diets, parakeets and other small bird species are better suited to tropical climates. Only those South American parrot species have longevity records reaching into the eighties.


Numerous bird species that can thrive in a wide range of environments can be found on this continent. While certain birds, like seagulls and pelicans, prefer coastal areas, others, like cockatoos, prefer inland habitats.

Because of this, it’s tough to nail down an accurate average lifetime for birds native to Australia. The average lifespan of a bird is 5–20 years, but certain species can live up to 30 years.

Bird lifespans by region
  • North America: 5-10 years
  • India: 5-10 years
  • Europe & Asia: 25 years
  • Australia: 5-20 years
How long do Wild Birds live?
  • Sixty years in captivity for the African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus), and just 35 years in the wild.
  • A typical lifespan for an albatross (Diomedea sp.) is 40–50 years.
  • The average lifespan of an Andean Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruviana) is 30, but one study puts that number at only 17.
  • The lifespan of the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is estimated to be around 20 years. Predators, human hunting, and poor juvenile bird survival rates are all suspected causes.
  • Forty-one years in captivity for the blue-throated macaw (Ara glaucogularis), and only thirty years in the wild.
  • One study puts the lifespan of the Brazilian Red and White Hornero (Furnarius Rufus and F. erythrogenys) at 30 years.
  • The average lifespan of a Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) is 5-10 years in the wild or as a “backyard bird,” but it can be 20-30 years with proper care.
  • Canada There has been reports of geese (Branta canadensis) living as long as 30 years in the wild.
  • Different species (Serinus canaria) are small birds with a long life expectancy—between 8 and 12 years in the wild and 15 to 20 years in captivity, according to various sources.
  • The age range of a Cape (Barnardius Bernardi): is 33-37.
  • A typical lifespan for the Chilean Flamingo (Phoenicopterus chilensis) is 50 years.
  • 10-15 years for the common chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs.
  • A common starling’s (Sturnus vulgaris) lifespan is roughly 7 years, with some individuals surviving for even longer.
  • Cyanistes caeruleus, or the Eurasian Blue Tit, can live for up to 14 years.
  • Male European magpies (Pica pica) typically live for around 14 years, and females for about 20.
  • The average lifespan of the Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) is 12–18 years in the wild, but individuals have been recorded to live as long as 24 years.
  • The average lifespan of a Great Tit (Parus major) in the wild is 8–12 years, but some individuals have been recorded living as long as 15 years.
  • 20–30 years in captivity for the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), and roughly 20 years in the wild.
  • Typically, the lifespan of a grey heron (Ardea cinerea) is between 10 and 14 years in the wild, however, some individuals have been recorded living as long as 21 years.
  • A healthy Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) can live for at least 40 years and possibly much longer.
  • One case study found an 82-year-old peafowl.
  • Gyps indicus, or the Indian Vulture, lives for 14–18 years in the wild.
  • Due to the manner they consume, Indian vultures may have a shorter lifetime.
  • 16-20-year-old male or female Jamaican Tody (Todus todus).
  • For the Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis), that number is between 50 and 60.
  • The lifespan of the Mallard Duck, or Anas platyrhynchos, is 7–10 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity with proper care.
  • Life expectancy in the wild of the Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) is unknown, however captive specimens have lived for up to 60 years.
  • About 35–40 years is the average lifespan of a northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis). The slow metabolic rate made possible by a diet of mostly fish allows these birds to live so long.
  • The age range for the Oriental Stork (Ciconia boyciana): is 40-50 years.
  • Falco cherrug (Saker Falcon) lifespan is 15-20 years.
  • A well-cared-for Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) can live 20–30 years in the wild and 40–50 in captivity.
  • Spoon-billed The sandpiper’s (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus) natural lifespan is unknown, however captive individuals have lived up to 14 years.
  • Acryllium vulturine, or the vulturine guineafowl, lives for around 25-30 years.
  • A properly cared-for wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) can live for 6-10 years in the wild but can live for 20 or more years in captivity.
  • Older whooping cranes (Grus americana) have lived up to 60 years.
Captive birds live for how long?

Zoos all throughout the world have tallied the ages of birds they’ve kept in captivity.

Bald Eagle 24-30 years

During captivity, specimens can live up to 50 years, although in the wild, the average is 30.

Barn Owl – 16+ years.

The oldest barn owl ever documented lived for 21.5 years. Given that the wild population of these birds normally only has a lifespan of 10-12 years, this is quite astounding.

Blue & Yellow Macaw – 40+ years.

Because of their size, these macaws require a sizable enclosure. This explains why they live so long! Owners can prevent undesirable behavior by providing plenty of stimulation.

Brazilian Red & White Horntail – 10 years.

Unless long-lived, these wasps aren’t pets.

Canary – 15-20 years

Due to predators and other threats, their lifespan in the wild is only 4-8 years. The oldest canary in history lived for an incredible 28 years!

Common Chaffinch – 8-12 years.

In Europe, this bird is a common caged pet.

Common Kestrel – 14+ years.

The average lifespan of a kestrel is around 10 years, while that of a merlin is closer to 7 or 8. The oldest recorded lifespan of a common kestrel was 17 years.

Cooper’s Hawk – 16+ years.

The typical lifespan of an accipiter is between 7 and 8 years, however, in captivity, it is not uncommon for them to live as long as 14 years. It appears that the lifespans of Cooper’s hawks and goshawks are slightly longer than those of other accipiters.

Crested Caracara – 15-20 years.

It’s easier to breed these massive birds of prey in captivity because of their intelligence and warmth of character. People used to feed these birds a raw meat diet supplemented with fruits and vegetables until high-quality pet food became widely available.

European Eagle Owl – 30+ years.

Among European eagle owls, the oldest ever recorded lifespan was 37 years. These magnificent animals require large enclosures, healthy diets, and enough stimulating activities to prevent boredom, which can cause negative behavioral changes.

Great Horned Owl – 20+ years.

In the aviary, this species is among the most well-liked owls. The great horned owl who lasted the longest in captivity was 34 years old.

Harris Hawk – 15-20 years.

Buteos, including the Harriss hawk, have a lifespan of roughly 10 to 15 years. Since they have lots to do, they’ll be happier and less likely to shout and bite.

Jamaican Tody – 16-20 years.

Since predation, the average lifespan of these bright songbirds is substantially shorter, but they can survive to be 25 if properly cared for.

Laysan Albatross – 50-60 years.

If properly cared for, these big seabirds can live up to 60 years as pets. Certain people have even reached the age of 100!

Lilac Breasted Roller – 30+ years.

The intelligence and warmth of these birds are astounding. To prevent boredom, these fascinating birds require a lot of care and toys.

Mute Swan – 25-30 years.

Some of the largest ducks kept as pets are species such as this one. Especially swans that have been reared from a young age in captivity can survive for up to 25 years. Due to predators and other dangers that captive swans never have to worry about, the average lifespan of a wild swan is a fraction of what it is in captivity.

Northern Bald Ibis – 30+ years.

Despite its long lifespan, this large white bird of prey is not a pet.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) – 20-25 years.

These are popular captive raptors. Well-cared-for, they live 15 to 25 years. If bored or depressed, these birds may scream, bite, and remove their feathers (pulling out their feathers). Before the 1990s, these birds were more typically maintained in tight aviaries than they are now, with larger pens more accessible to the public.

Red-Tailed Hawk – 15-20 years.

Captive breeding of these huge hawks is simplified by their intelligence and sociability. People used to feed these birds a raw meat diet supplemented with fruits and vegetables until high-quality pet food became widely available.

Ring-Necked Pheasant – 8-15 years.

Another well-cared-for bird of prey with widespread appeal as a game species. They are lovely creatures that require a lot of stimulation to prevent boredom and the resulting behavioral issues.

12-25 (wild) 20-30 (captive).

Pigeons are good pets because they do not require a lot of care or maintenance, despite having shorter lifespans than the other birds on our list.

Australian Raven – 40+ years.

These intelligent corvids are large pets. Boredom can lead to behavioral problems like yelling, biting, and feather plucking (pulling out their feathers). In past, these birds were mainly kept in small aviaries, but since the 1990s, larger enclosures have become more widely available to the general public.


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