What is the lifespan of an African grey parrot?
If you own an African grey parrot or are thinking of adding one to your family, you might be wondering how long you can expect your partner in crime to stick around. How long do African grey parrots live? Spoiler alert: potentially a very, very long time, but it’s up to you to make sure that actually happens.African grey lifespan
Let’s go into African grey parrot lifespan and what you can do to make sure yours lives a very long and happy life.
What is the lifespan of an African grey parrot in the wild?
The genus Psittacus (African grey parrots) once contained a single species (Psittacus erithacus) as well as a subspecies (Psittacus erithacus timneh). Nowadays, the subspecies has been elevated to the status of an actual species: Psittacus timneh, also known as the Timneh African grey parrot.
There are some subtle but noticeable differences between the two African grey species and they don’t occur in the exact same areas in the wild. However, their potential lifespans seem pretty much the same.
Wild African grey parrots can reach impressive ages.The life of an African grey in its natural habitat can be harsh, with threats from disease as well as raptors and other predators.
The average lifespan of an African grey parrot in the wild was concluded in a 2002 study to be 22.7 years (Ryan, 2002), which is not bad at all considering the dangers they face on a daily basis.
Did you know? . They prefer forest habitats in the wild, which are rapidly disappearing. Additionally, the pet trade has absolutely ravaged their numbers. It’s now extremely illegal to trade wild African greys but obviously it’s almost impossible to completely prevent this.
What is the lifespan of an African grey parrot in captivity?
Their average lifespan in captivity is still noted to be around 45 years (“Psittacus erithacus, Linnaeeus, 1758”, PDF file). It’s important to keep in mind that this number of 45 years is the average lifespan for the species as pets, not an absolute lifespan. They can live for much longer, with reports floating around of African grey parrots with the documentation to prove that the bird is or was over 80 years old.
Whether or not your African grey parrot will actually make it to a mindboggling eight decades of age probably has a lot to do with luck and genetics, since birds this old are really outliers. Whether or not your bird makes it to something more realistic like 45 to 60 years old, though, depends almost entirely on YOU. With good care it’s entirely possible for African grey parrots to reach an age like this.
Did you know? The oldest parrot listed in the Guiness Book of World Records was Cookie, a Major Mitchell’s cockatoo who passed away at 82 in 2016. There’s also Poncho the green-winged macaw, who was apparently 91 in 2017.
What influences the lifespan of an African grey parrot?
Now that we’ve established that African grey parrots really are friends for life, you’re probably wondering what you can do to make sure yours stays with you for years to come. Let me go serious mode here for a second:
As with all domestic parrots, it’s extremely important to think things through before you make the decision of adopting an African grey. They need just as much care, attention and stimulation as a dog or even a child in some cases, and they depend entirely on you for their health and well-being.
You can’t expect your parrot to thrive if you just stick it in a cage and view it as a decoration piece. To be a good African grey parrot owner, you’ll have to be willing to provide top notch care and lots of love for a huge chunk of your life!
Now that we’ve got that over with, let’s go into what it actually means, practically speaking. What care factors are important influencers of domestic African grey parrot lifespan?