How long do parrots live?


Parrots are beautiful and intuitive birds and the one thing that makes them very special is that they have a very long lifespan. However, the lifestyle of a parrot can greatly affect his longevity and in most cases, captive parrots have a longer lifespan than their wild counterparts because of the care that they receive and the fact that they don’t have any predators preying on them.

Another answer to how long parrots live can also vary depending on the group of your parrot or its species. For smaller birds like cockatiels and budgerigars, their average lifespan is lower than their larger counterparts who live longer. So in other words, a large macaw many times longer than the budgie and even live to be twice as old as a parakeet or even longer.

How can you tell your parrot’s age?

If you don’t know the age of your parrot, the best option is to talk to his previous owner or breeder. They usually keep a record or some documentation of his age. There is also a band on your parrot’s feet that can give you more information on who you can contact or how old your parrot is. However, if none of these avenues bear any fruit, simple observation can help you get an idea of how old your parrot is.

  • Your parrot’s physical activity levels. Younger parrots tend to be more active and aggressive than older ones.
  • Beak quality. The beak of an older parrot tends to be duller and the color changes with time.
  • Feather plumage. As your parrot gets older the feathers will lose their color and vibrancy.
  • Eye color. Your parrot’s eye color might change to a more lighter, more gray or faded color.

Parrots have the longest living birds like the cockatoos and Amazonian parrots can live as long as 75 years or more. The budgerigars can live for 15-25 years which is a long time considering it’s such a small bird. The reason is that they have very few predators and are colonial so they find food easily.

How long do pet parrots live?

Amazon parrots are medium-sized birds with a broad number of sub-species that can live for 40-60 years. They’re mostly green birds with different species that you can differentiate from the different colors of their head feathers. Amazon parrots live an average of 40-70 years in captivity depending on how you take care of them.

Macaws are a group of large parrots that comprise 19 different species including the extinct and endangered ones. They’re sociable birds that require a lot of attention. They have very distinct features like a large beak that is often bare, white featherless face, and long tail feathers. The lifespan of the different macaw species ranges from 20-60 years. The larger macaws tend to live longer than their smaller counterparts. The larger ones live for about 30-60 years while the captive parrots live about 35-50 years.

The budgies or parakeets are small birds that are usually yellow, white, green, and blue. They live for about 5-12 years in captivity, but often don’t live over 7 years because of traumatic accidents or improper care.

Cockatiels are friendly, social, and playful parrots that are popular in most homes. They can be either be yellow, white, or gray with the ability to inbreed to produce other different hybrids with different colors and feather patterns. As a pet, this social bird can live for about 15-25 years in captivity.

Cockatoos are large to medium-sized parrots that belong to any of the 21 species and while these birds can live for more than 100 years as a pet, most pet cockatoos live for about 40-70 years in captivity depending on the kind of care they receive.

Parrotlets are a very small and pretty parrot species that have a big personality in a small body. They’re the smallest new world parrots that aren’t very noisy, but require a lot of care. They’re active birds that need a lot of space to live in and can live an average of 20 years.

How to improve the lifespan of your pet parrot

The way you take care of your parrot, that you can learn here, hugely affects his quality of life and lifespan. Here are some things you can do to increase his health and longevity.

Proper diet and nutrition

Feeding your parrot a proper diet will keep him healthy and increase his lifespan so that your parrot isn’t sick all the time. Foods like seeds, pellets, grains, nuts, and fresh fruits and veggies provide the appropriate nutrients to your parrot which helps to prevent diseases. However, you need to ensure you give a balanced diet with the appropriate portions of proteins, vitamins, fats, and minerals.

Proper physical and mental hygiene

The lifespan of your parrot will depend on their hygiene as also yours, so before you handle him to ensure that your hands are clean and limit your contact when you’re sick. Also, keep the cage clean and your parrot and ensure he gets plenty of exercises and mental stimulation to prevent self-mutilation and boredom.

Full-spectrum lighting

Indoor birds require full-spectrum lighting that normal light bulbs can’t provide. Without this, your parrot can develop health problems in the long term.

Regular vet checks

Take your parrot a least once a year to the vet to check his health so that any problems can be diagnosed quickly and the right remedy applied. In case of serious problems, you can be advised on what to do.

Interaction and companionship

Birds and especially parrots are very social creatures which means they need a lot of your attention and to interact with other birds too. Keeping them on their own can affect their psychological health.


Parrots are very popular birds that you will find in many homes. How old your parrot lives will depend on many factors, but to ensure that your parrot lives long and has a healthy and fulfilled life ensure that you provide him with a good nutritional diet, proper housing, and sanitary conditions, and most importantly a lot of love and care.

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William Sander
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