Several longest living birds in the world have surpassed the age of 100, with many of them going over the bird life expectancy of their species. Fascinating and impressive, isn’t it?
Let’s see how many birds that live a long time you can name. We have a list that will surely blow your mind.
Table of Contents
Top Longest-Living Birds
How many years do birds live? It can be anywhere between four years to a century. The average lifespan of birds varies depending on the species.
The principle is the smaller the bird, the shorter the birds lifespan, and wild bird lifespan is lesser than that of those in captivity.
|Rank||Species & Bird Name||Oldest Age||Time of Death|
|1||Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Cocky Bennett||120 years||1916|
|2||Blue and Yellow Macaw||114 years||2014|
|2||Green-winged Macaw, Poncho||92 years||2018|
|4||Greater Flamingo, Greater||83 years||2014|
|5||Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo, Cookie||83 years||2016|
|6||Andean Condor, Thaao||80 years||2010|
|7||Laysan Albatross, Wisdom||71 years||2017|
|8||Bald Eagle 031442||38 years||August 5, 1997|
In this article, we will introduce you to the recorded oldest birds in the world.
1. Bald Eagle
- Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus
- Approximate Length: 90 to 108 centimeters
- Average Lifespan: 20 to 30 years
- Oldest Age Recorded: 38 years
The bald eagle is an iconic bird representing the United States. This sea eagle can be easily recognized with its dark brown feathers, white head and tail, yellow beak, eyes, and feet. Both sexes share the same features, with females weighing more than males.
The oldest eagle recorded lived until the age of 38. The bald eagle was banded with the number 03142 on August 5, 1997, to help in the Department of Environmental Conservation’s restoration program of the avian species. Its life ended due to a motor vehicle incident.
2. Laysan Albatross
- Scientific Name: Phoebastria immutabilis
- Approximate Length: 81 centimeters
- Average Lifespan: 12 to 40 years
- Oldest Age Recorded: 71 years
This albatross is one of the largest seabirds in Hawaii’s islands. Both sexes have white heads and bodies, black wings and tails, and gray-black under-eye patches. Males are larger and heavier than females.
A female Laysan Albatross named Wisdom is the oldest bird alive of its species. The wild seabird has been banded and tracked since 1956, when she was 6 years old. In 2017, at age 67, Wisdom laid viable eggs which made the news.
3. Andean Condor
- Scientific Name: Vultur gryphus
- Approximate Length: 100 to 130 centimeters
- Average Lifespan: 50 years
- Oldest Age Recorded: 80 years
Andean Condor is the largest flying bird based on weight and wingspan. This vulture has black plumage all over, except for the white neck base and wing patches. Its neck and head mostly lack feathers, and females are smaller than males.
Thaao, a male Andean Condor, was considered the oldest in captivity until his death in 2010. The bird was born in the wild and only stayed in Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo for the last seventeen years of his life.
4. Greater Flamingo
- Scientific Name: Phoenicopterus roseus
- Approximate Length: 80 to 150 centimeters
- Average Lifespan: 40 to 60 years
- Oldest Age Recorded: 83 years
This species is the largest among living flamingos and the most widespread. Greater Flamingos have pinkish-white plumage, black flight feathers, red wing coverts, and pink legs.
They used to be confused with the American Flamingo but are now considered two separate species.
A Greater Flamingo in Adelaide Zoo, Australia named Greater was 83 years old when it died in 2014 due to its declining health condition. Six years before its death, the flamingo survived an attack by a group of male teens and young men.
5. Blue and Yellow Macaw
- Scientific Name: Ara ararauna
- Approximate Length: 76 to 86 centimeters
- Average Lifespan: 50 to 60 years
- Oldest Age Recorded: 114 years
Referred to as a Blue-and-Gold Macaw, this large parrot is sometimes mistaken as the Blue-throated Macaw. To identify blue and yellow macaws, look for the distinct bright aqua blue upperparts, light orange underparts, and gray feet. Variations in plumage color can be observed, depending on their range.
Winston Churchill is said to have a female Blue and Yellow Macaw that goes by the name Charlie, which lived for over 100 years.
The bird received a lot of attention not only for reaching the age of 114 years in 2014 but also because of the debate about whether it really belonged to Churchill. Charlie is also known for its obscene tirades.
6. Green-winged Macaw
- Scientific Name: Ara chloropterus
- Approximate Length: 66 to 99 centimeters
- Average Lifespan: 60 to 80 years
- Oldest Age Recorded: 92 years
The Green-winged Macaw, also referred to as a Red and Green Macaw, is more red than green. It is easy to spot this parrot with its yellow eyes with red bars, gray legs, green middle wings with blue tips, and a beak that is black on the sides. This species is the second largest macaw next to the Hyacinth Macaw.
The longest lifespan bird of this species is Poncho, which was 92 years old in 2018. You probably saw Poncho in several movies like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and 102 Dalmatians. The 2014 Guinness World Record listed Poncho as the oldest living parrot.
7. Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo
- Scientific Name: Lophochroa leadbeateri
- Approximate Length: 35 to 40 centimeters
- Average Lifespan: 60 to 83 years
- Oldest Age Recorded: 83 years
This cockatoo is sometimes called Leadbeater’s cockatoo or the pink cockatoo because of its pale pink plumage. Other distinct features to note about this bird are its vivid red and yellow crest, orange-pink underwings, and white flight feathers.
A Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo named Cookie is the oldest parrot as recognized by the Guinness World Record. In 1934, Cookie came to the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago when it was one year old. Cookie died in 2016 at age 83 due to age-related decline.
8. Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
- Scientific Name: Cacatua galerita
- Approximate Length: 44 to 55 centimeters
- Average Lifespan: 40 to 100 years
- Oldest Age Recorded: 120 years
This large white parrot has a plumed yellow crest on its head, dark gray-black beak, and pale yellow tails and wing underside. Crested cockatoos often live in woodlands and communicate with each other through screeches.
They are among the longest living pet bird, with a notable avian being a male sulphur-crested cockatoo named Cocky Bennett. This legendary bird is from Australia and is owned by Captain Ellis.
Cocky Bennett spent 78 years of his 120 years of life traveling around the world with his owner before passing away featherless at the Woolpack Hotel in 1916.
The bird age of each avian on this list mostly exceeds the life expectancy of their bird species. Ornithologists still lack conclusive data to foresee how long a specific avian might live, but learning about the factors that affect their lifespan will highly benefit birders.
The information will help them in ensuring that their pets will live a healthy life for as long as possible.
How do you feel after seeing the longest living birds in the world in this article? Did we miss any bird with the longest lifespan? Share your thoughts with us!
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