How Long Do Parrots Live? The larger the parrot, the longer the lifespan. Greenwing macaw fluffing his head feathers excitedly singing happy birthday.

How Long Do Parrots Live?

How Long Do Parrots Live?

The longevity question about companion parrots misses the point. Most parrots brought home as young birds, will outlive us. The real question is, how will our parrots' lives be after we are gone? We celebrate our birthdays, and theirs, not considering we're counting down, not up. Not knowing what our last number is should remind us of the urgency of being better. For them and all we love. 

Companion parrot lifespans are affected by innumerable variables from their DNA lineage to feeding during weaning, housing, cage size, stress, water quality, where they live, how well they sleep, all the way to where they were hatched. It's a complex algorithm. The larger the bird, the longer the life expectation, though. Wild or companion, parrot lifespans are long enough to require special attention to the idea they may outlive us. 

Averaged lifespans of some companion parrots.

  • Amazon: 40 to 70 years
  • Macaw: 35 to 50 years
  • Conure: 15 to 20 years
  • Cockatoo: 40 to 70 years
  • Cockatiel: 15 to 25 years
  • Parakeet:  5 to 20 years (breeding facilities create a wide range of expectations)
  • Caique: 30 to 40 years
  • African and Timneh Grey: 40 to 60 years
How Long Do Parrots Live? The larger the parrot, the longer the lifespan.

    There's a number that sits in my head and heart. It's the number of years my parrots will survive without me to care for them. I don't worry about our human children. They have grown into independent, viable adults fully capable of functioning without me. Our parrots will never grow independent of their need for me, us, and a flock. I know that number could be around 25 years from now.

    So, I have 25 years to get things straightened out in the companion parrot world. That's how I see it. Because no matter how much planning, financing, and legal paperwork I put into the long-term care of our flock after I am gone, things can still go wrong for them. Chaos Theory and probability say it is so. I have 25 years to make things better for and around companion parrot care and understanding, so when I leave this earth there will be an improvement for them after I'm gone. Their longevity story requires not only my efforts and concern today, but my efforts and concerns about tomorrow. 

    It's the longevity story we all have in our flocks. The math will be different, but the results are the same. We will leave behind a world without us. Why wouldn't we want to insure better understanding, better rhetoric, better mandates, better practices, better rescue, better sanctuary, better laws, and that elusive better respect and empathy for companion parrots? Which inevitably leads to better respect and empathy for other people. Living successfully with a companion parrot requires us to be better companion humans, for everyone around us.

    We all have a longevity story. And in our own story runs the longevity stories of our companions, friends, and family. You can't add to the longevity. You can only change the story line, and that changes the end of your book. Maybe it's because I'm a writer that it all makes sense. We are all writing our life stories. With every line we write in deed, word, and thought, we define the last sentence in our last chapter. 

    Our last chapter is their first chapter without us. 

    Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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