Parrots are intelligent, social, and can make great companions for those who are looking for a long-term pet. Some species of parrots with the longest lifespan live up to 80 years or more, which is significantly longer than the lifespan dogs, cats, and other pets.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best companion parrots with the longest lifespans, as well as alternative small pets that may have a longer lifespan, and what to consider when choosing a pet based on lifespan.
Considerations for Owning Parrots with the Longest Lifespans
When choosing a pet based on lifespan, it is important to consider your lifestyle and ability to care for the animal over a long period of time.
Parrots have a lifespan of up to 80 years, which means a longer commitment and a greater likelihood of experiencing the loss of a companion. Additionally, it is important to consider the cost of care, as some parrot species may have higher veterinary expenses due to health issues.
It is also important to be aware that owning a parrot comes with a lot of responsibilities.
- Who will care for the parrot?
- Who will care for the bird when you are not around?
- Do you have a plan for the pet if it lives longer than you do?
- Do you have a budget for food, toys, cage, etc.?
Parrots are social animals and require a lot of time and attention. They need a healthy diet, proper housing, and regular veterinary care. They also require mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. Therefore, before getting a parrot, make sure you are able to provide them with the care they need because a lifespan of a parrot will likely be many decades.
Rumor has it that some companion parrot lifespans have reached 140-years, but I have some doubts. It might have happened, and if so, the birds probably had a genetic mutation to help explain why it lived so much longer than typical large parrots.
What type of parrot lives the longest? Companion parrots
Can parrots live up to 200 years? Anything is possible, but it’s unlikely. Lifespans in parrots are correlated to brain size.
Do parrots live for 150 years? Potentially, yes, but the popular parrots listed below live around 50 – 70 years on average.
African Grey Parrot
The African Grey Parrot, one of the most popular pet birds, has a lifespan of around 50-70 years. They are known for their intelligence, trainability, and ability to mimic human speech.
There is no guarantee that all African Greys will live to a ripe old age (Alex the Talking Parrot lived 31 years). If you own a grey, you must be prepared for the possibility that the bird lives longer than you. Arican greys are among a short list of pet birds that live the longest and have a reputation as parrots with the longest lifespan.
Amazon parrots such as the Blue-fronted Amazon, Double Yellow-Headed Amazon and Mealy Amazon have a lifespan of around 50-70 years. They are known for their intelligence, trainability, and affectionate personalities.
Macaw parrots such as the Blue and Gold Macaw, Green-winged Macaw and Scarlet Macaw have a lifespan of around 50-70 years. They are known for their intelligence, trainability, and affectionate personalities.
When most people think of parrots, the macaw comes to mind. Many movies and other literature historically associate macaws with pirates, islands, and other exotic places.
They are excellent chewers. Owning a macaw means you will have to get used to idea that your furniture is fair game. Macaws are frequently chewing for entertainment, activity, and to keep their beak in good condition.
Cockatoos such as the Umbrella, Major Mitchell’s and Galah Cockatoos have a lifespan of around 50-70 years. They are known for their intelligence, trainability, and affectionate personalities.
Pionus parrots such as the Blue-headed, White-capped and Dusky parrots have a lifespan of around 30-40 years. They are known for their intelligence, trainability, and affectionate personalities.
On the list of parrots with the longest lifespans the pionus achieve middle-of-the-pack status. The 40-years lifespan is about double the Green Cheek Conure but shorter than the larger companion birds.
Alternative Small Pets
Companion parrots have the reputation for long lifespans but there are other pet choices that often outlive dogs and cats.
Some species of turtles have a lifespan of around 80-100 years. They are low maintenance and can make great pets for people who are looking for a long-term companion.
Certain turtle species grow quite large and will soon outgrow a spare room, garage, or even an entire house. Certain tortoises usually do best in warmer climates and in outdoor environments. And remember, the large the animal the larger the poop is!
Before committing to a turtle purchase, please become familiar with local regulations governing them being kept as pets. Some species cannot legally be kept as pets in certain jurisdictions, some are protected by strict wildlife laws, and others are simply not good pet candidates at all.
Fish have a lifespan that can vary depending on the species, but some can live for decades. They are relatively low maintenance and can make great pets for people who are looking for a low-key companion.
A fish aquarium does require daily monitoring for water quality, proper filtration, weekly water changes (at a minimum), and cleaning.
But goldfish have a reputation for living a long time if proper care and attention is provided. The oldest documented age is 45 years and multiple goldfish have lived into their 20’s.
Hedgehogs have a lifespan of around 4-8 years. They are small, low maintenance and can make great pets for people who are looking for a low-key companion.
Similar to turtles, check your local regulations before making a purchase. Hedgehogs are not allowed as pets in all areas.
Cats and Dogs
Sometimes traditional pets really are the best choices. Reasons cats and dogs still might be the best choice:
- Food is readily available in almost every grocery store or large discount retailer.
- Veterinarians that treat domestic house pets are readily available.
- Pet sitting services are available if you need to leave your pets for a few days of travel.
Conclusion – Parrots with the Longest Lifespan
When choosing a pet, a longer lifespan should be just one of the factors to consider. Other factors like breed characteristics, your lifestyle, and your ability to provide care and training over a long period of time are also key considerations.
Compared to dogs and cats that typically live 8 – 12 years, parrots are in a whole other league of responsibility. It’s nice to have a pet that will live a long time, but depending on your personal situation there may be better options.