Pet birds make decorative and entertaining additions to the home and, with good care, can live long and happy lives. Large and airy cages, a high-quality and varied diet, plenty of opportunity for play and good veterinary care will prolong your little feathered friend's lifespan.
The larger members of the parrot family can reach extreme ages and could even outlive you. Macaws and amazons are the most famous of this family and, with excellent care, live the longest -- up to 100 years. Other large parrots are African greys and conures, which you can expect to live around 25 years. Cockatoos are longer-lived, often reaching 40 years or more.
Cockatiels are very popular pets due to their wide variation in coloring and bright personalities. They're also fairly long-lived, reaching 25 to 30 years. Lories and lorikeets live roughly 15 to 20 years, with males living longer than the females. Of the medium-sized parrots, lovebirds are the shortest-lived at, on average, about 10 years. While most birds are happier with a companion, love birds interact with humans better if they don't have a mate.
Budgerigars, also known as parakeets and budgies, are very popular pets and live a surprisingly long time for a small bird -- up to 18 years. The quaker, or monk, parakeet is an exception as this bird lives much longer, on average 25 to 30 years. Parrotlets are relatively new on the scene but also make lively and interesting pets. They live between 15 and 20 years.
Canaries and Finches
Canaries are famous for their gorgeous plumage and beautiful songs. You can expect a canary to live 10 to 15 years, and even up to 25 years with top-notch care. Finches are among the smallest and the shortest-lived of all pet birds. On average they only live about 5 years, but can reach up to 20. Finches live in flocks so are happier with companions, but quarantine new birds in another room before introducing them to your pet.
A graduate of Leeds University, Jenny Green completed Master of Arts in English literature in 1998 and has been writing about travel, gardening, science and pets since 2007. Green's work appears in Diva, Whole Life Times, Listverse, Earthtimes, Lamplight, Stupefying Stories and other websites and magazines.