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How Long Do Birds Live?

Learn about the average lifespan of birds from veterinarian Laurie Hess in this Howcast video.


Doctor Hess: So in general the lifespan of a bird is based on size. Most of the larger birds live longer. Many of the big Macaws that we see, even the Amazon Parrots, the African Greys can live 30 to 40, sometimes even more years in captivity. Most birds in captivity don't live as long as in the wild, becasue they are not exposed to the same fresh air, and sunlight, and nutrition as they would get in the wild. But these birds are very, very long lived, which makes them actually very popular pets. And some of the smaller birds, however, live shorter periods. I mean, what would you say? You have Cockatiels, and smaller birds.

Sarah: I would say, Cockatiels and smaller birds, like this little green cheek Conure, usually around 20 years. I would say that the better diet and care they get early on, the longer you can expect to have a healthy bird in your home.

Doctor Hess: Absolutely, I mean, some of the small Parakeets, the Budgerigars, we used to think 6 to 8 years. We've seen them actually live into their teens now that we know what their requirements are. I've been a bird veterinarian for almost 20 years. And the recommendations I make now are very, very different from those I made years ago. And we know that all these recommendations are very, very important in keeping kidneys healthy, the liver healthy, bodies functioning longer. So it is really important to seek out the advice of a veterinarian comfortable with birds, so you can learn about what's best for your birds, so that he or she can be happy and healthy for a very long time.

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