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The Average Parrot Lifespan - Longer than yours?

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

Average Parrot Lifespan

The Average Parrot Lifespan - Let's Get Started!

Most people know that adopting a parrot is a long term commitment, potentially for life, but how does the average parrot lifespan look across multiple species with varying diets and needs? For example, most Indian Ringneck parrots and Green-Cheek Conures are fine with a diet consisting primarily of pellets, with a daily offering of fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes. Whereas a species like the Solomon Island Eclectus is supposed to have an extremely limited amount of pellets (5% or less daily) and should avoid fatty foods as much as possible.

A common risk factor that can seriously harm or kill a perfectly healthy parrot are basic household items that most new bird owners wouldn't even think twice about, read more about common household risks coming soon. It is our responsibility to stay educated and keep our companions thriving in their captive environment.

Average Parrot Lifespan


Make sure to do plenty of research into a few different species for temperament characteristics, diet requirements, and cage size requirements. It's very important that you have a proper cage setup so that your feathered friend has room to stretch their wings, play, and explore. For a standard parakeet, it is better to purchase a wider enclosure instead of taller style flight cage as budgies are horizontal flyers. You also need to make sure you have the time necessary to bond and nurture your parrot on a daily basis. A minimum of 4 hours daily is recommended to provide proper socialization. It’s also a good idea to provide a variety of perches with different sizing and materials to exercise your parrots feet, and plenty of enrichment toys like foraging boxes and shredding toys.

average parrot lifespan


The lifespan of captive parrots can be cut short by making a few seemingly good natured mistakes. Many bird owners assume that they can feed their parrot a diet of just seeds, like we would normally put in a bird feeder. Unfortunately, seed based is actually one of the most unhealthy and high-fat, lack of nutrient diets that you could offer. A full seed diet can lead to obesity, high cholesterol, fat deposits in the blood vessels, and kidney disease. Also, many of the housing options provided to parrots do not allow for enough exercise or activity which could also lead to obesity and heart disease. Parrots being kept as pets actually have a shorter lifespan than in the wild, due to the improper care and lack of nutrients.

Another factor that can contribute to a shortened lifespan, is that captive parrots will not be exposed to fresh air as often as those in the wild. This puts your feathered companion at high risk for respiratory infections due to aerosolized toxins like air fresheners, paint fumes, smoke, hairspray, candles, essential oils, toxic cleaning products and other chemicals. You must keep in mind that birds have extremely small and susceptible lungs that can be easily affected. Think of the saying “canary in a coal mine”. This practice was done so that the miners would have a warning of possible carbon monoxide poisoning, but the canary would pass away first and trigger the workers to get out of the space immediately. Always check to make sure that the products you use in your household are non-toxic, and it is recommended to remove your pets from any area where exposure could occur, to a separate ventilated space.

Calcium-deficiency is another leading cause of premature mortality for companion parrots. Since most birds are kept indoors, they are unable to produce enough vitamin-D without exposure from UV light. This can lead to brittle bones, thin egg-shells resulting in breakage, and even anxiety. If you are unable to take your companion out using a harness or carrier, it is a good idea to purchase an avian UV lamp for supplemental use, or offer supplements.

Lastly, other companions in the home like dogs and cats can always pose a threat to your parrot, so never leave them together unattended. As much as it might make for a cute photo, or a funny video, an accident can happen in seconds and end your parrot’s life before you have a chance to act. Even if you think that your larger companions “don't care” about the bird, or you think they are friendly, cats and dogs still have an innate prey instinct that can be triggered without warning, and all interactions should be closely monitored.

conure eating fruit


Parrot Shelters & Rescues: There is an abundance of parrot abandonment and homelessness in the United states. Many times, people will see a beautiful parrot and only want it because of how it looks, not knowing the commitment and potential behavior that could come with it, or the bird would bond with them. There are many great rescues and shelters that you can reach out to that could have your perfect companion. Usually you will need to fill out an application, and then go to meet your potential parrot companion match.

Online: If you decide to purchase from an online breeder, make sure to request video and photo evidence before making any type of deposit or transaction. It is best to also verify that the breeder has reviews available and see what other people have experienced while working with them. A reputable site that I’ve used in the past was, where I found my lovely female Solomon Island Eclectus, who I had flown via Airline to my location the next day and she arrived safe and sound. The breeder was willing to answer any questions I had about current diet, and temperament, and remained responsive throughout the entire process. Make sure to request disease testing documentation and if needed, any gender test results that have been performed.

Pet Shops & Chain Stores: Speaking from previous experience, any parrot that I’ve ever received from a chain store or pet shop will need to have an immediate vet visit. In the past, I’ve had issues with birds coming home with respiratory or bacterial infections, severely clipped wings, and other various issues. Make sure that if you find your next flock-mate at a store, you are prepared to book an avian vet visit and have some testing done.

cockatiel lifespan

DID YOU KNOW? It can take an average of 3 months for your companion to feel like a new environment is their home? Don’t stress out if your parrot is acting skittish or anti-social in those first few weeks. An average parrot lifespan can last decades and you are embarking on a long journey, so a few weeks will fly by. Give your parrot time to adjust to their new schedule, surroundings, and you!

average parrot lifespan


Parrots have evolved to not show weakness or pain as it can make them a target in the wild, so it can be hard to tell if your new companion is sick. Once a parrot actually looks ill, you could be too late. New household parrots should be quarantined from any other birds in the home for a minimum of 30 days, to prevent transmission of ailments like Psittacine beak and feather disease (PBFD), and other common viral factors. Vet visits should be scheduled for any new flock member, to make sure that no underlying disease or illness is present, and to check on any vitamin deficiencies. Just remember that not all vet offices will deal with parrot patients, and you will most likely need to find an Avian or Exotic vet to set up services with. These specialty vets tend to be more costly, but can offer your feathered friend the best of care and proper treatment if needed.

african gray at the vet

Thank you for reading about the average parrot lifespan!

We all want our feathered companions to stay with us for as long as possible, and with proper care, nutrition, environment, and hazard awareness, we can help them thrive for decades. Who knows, they could outlive you!

eclectus male

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