When first buying a parrot or parakeet, you should expect to have a life long commitment between you and your new feathered friend. The reason why most parrots end up in animal rescues is that people fail to research about parrot behaviors, and how long a parrot’s lifespan/parakeet’s lifespan really is. Any type of parrot or even parakeet will outlive your typical pocket pet (hamster, guinea pigs), cat, or dog; some of the only pets that a parakeet can’t outlive are snakes, turtles and some types of fish. Do you really think you can care for a pet that will live a minimum of 10 years?
The following bird life spans listed below are what you can expect from a properly cared for, healthy pet bird. It’s the average ages reported by various sources (books, papers, breeders, bird enthusiasts); some may live longer than their average life expectancy. A few examples are cited below.
Pet Bird Lifespans
African Greys Lifespan
30 to 50 years
Here’s Henry, a 45 year old African Gray. A nasal infection caused that hole in the top part of Henry’s beak, but besides that, the owner claims he is perfectly fine and healthy. One of the only 40+ year old african grey’s you’ll see on youtube. Another famous African grey is Alex, one of Dr. Irene Pepperberg‘s feathered students, who lived up to the age of 31. There are a lot of claims on African grey forums about people who have greys living up to 80-90 years old, but none of them linked to proof.
Amazon Parrots Life Span
60 to 80 years
Although there are a handful of claims about amazons reaching 104, 106 or 117 ages, none of them actually have documents or media coverage to prove it, so it’s really just hearsay. The oldest amazon parrot I’ve read from a local newspaper was an amazon parrot that had vet records dating 60 years back, that would mean the amazon parrot is at least 60 years of age; which supports the lifespan experts agree on. The claim 104, 106 and 107 year old amazons were supposedly double yellow-headed amazon parrots, and the oldest amazon parrot was supposedly a 117 year old blue fronted amazon.
10 to 15 years
Budgies are what got me started with pet birds, I love em and have had them since I was a child. I still have three budgies now which I’ve had since I was 14, 18 and 19, and I’m at the wrong side of my 20s now My oldest budgie is 15 years old, 14 years more before Fatso (my budgie) beats the record for oldest budgie who has ever lived! Charlie, 29 years old from England, is the oldest budgie that ever lived according to the Guinness book of world records.
10 to 15 years
Dick, the oldest canary that ever lived, according to the new york times, was born on 1863, and died on 1887. This story is a bit weird, cause the owner of the canary, Mr. Joshua E. Wills, said that he fed his bird a little meat. Read the actual article here
15 to 20 years
According to this book, the oldest cockatiel that ever lived was 36 years old. Other than that, nothing else to reference. Feel free to use the link above to suggest a reference, or add a comment.
40 to 60 years
Here are some cockatoos that have recorded proof of their age, and have very well exceeded the average life expectancy of a normal cockatoo. King Tut, a salmon-crested / moluccan cockatoo and the official greeter of San Diego Zoo, lived up to the age of 69. Cocky, a 76 year old sulphur crested cockatoo from Australia. The oldest recorded Cockatoo that ever lived, is Cocky Bennett, also from Australia, who lived up to 115 years old.
30 to 40 years
Found some claims of 60+ year old conures, but no verifiable data to back it up. Most of the books agree on the life expectancy of the conure at 30-40 years.
10 to 15 years
This is the average life expectancy of a finch, no extreme case to reference where a finch far outlived it’s average life span.
Lovebirds Life Span
10 to 15 years
A lot of different sites and forums state the oldest lovebird that ever lived was between 17 to 21 years old, but I haven’t seen the data to back it up.
Macaws Life Span
40 to 50 years
A 111 year old blue and gold macaw, who is claimed to be Winston Churchill’s pet parrot! Read the article here.
Other Parakeet Life Span (paroquet / paraquet)
10 to 20 years
Those parakeets that weren’t mentioned here have roughly the same life span, they weren’t mentioned because there weren’t any example birds to reference, or I have no personal experience with them. If you’d like to add a reference or make an edit to this article, just contact me or leave a comment.
Owning a parrot or parakeet is a life long commitment, and they take a lot of care and attention to maintain; most are also not suitable for apartment life because they are very loud. Think about everything you need to do, and for how long you’ll need to care for your parrot or parakeet before you buy one!