All About Caring For Aging Pet Birds

No matter what types of animals you own, you know that you want to take care of them for as long as they belong to you. Unfortunately, all things age and this goes for pet birds too. Let’s look at caring for the older pet bird.

How To Care For Aging Pet Birds

aging pet birdsAs your pet birds get older you will need to change the way that you care for them.

Caring for a pet bird as they get older is always very important, because not only is it your pet that you are caring for, but it is also a way to keep your pet comfortable and in your life for longer.

No one wants to know that their pet isn’t comfortable, and so as your pet bird ages, it is important that you do all that you can to take care of them.

Pet birds live for various amounts of time. There are many pet birds that will live for a couple of years, but there are also pet birds that can live much, much longer.

That means that in order to properly care for your aging pet bird, the first thing that you need to do is to figure out how long they are going to live for.

Most birds don’t really change their appearance, as they get older, so you want to be sure that you know exactly how old your pet bird is so that you can prepare for this.

There isn’t much that changes physically in birds as they age. If your pet bird spends most of his time in his cage, you are probably going to find that he appears to be the same, day after day.

An older bird is less mobile and a lot quieter than a younger bird. The change is however gradual over time and you may not notice this if you are with your bird every day.

In most cases, your bird is going through changes that you simply can’t see as he gets older. So, to make sure that you are able to properly care for him, a good thing to do is to take careful notice of him and what he does when he is a young bird.

You might want to take notice of the things that he does – how far he hops or flies, and what kind of action he has during the day. This way, as he starts to get older, you can see if he is changing anything about the way he acts. Take some video’s of him early in life so that you can compare his behavior over the years.

The best thing that you can do to help your birds age in a way that is good for them is to make sure that they always have access to the things that are important, such as freshwater, healthy food, lots of attention and treats.

These things should be placed in areas where your bird doesn’t have to do a lot of moving to get there so that as he gets older, he is still able to take care of himself.

Make sure that you provide a comfortable, warm and enriching environment for your bird.

As older birds tend to move around less, they may need flat perches or a padded floor if they have sore feet or arthritis. If you observe your bird’s body language after making gradual modifications, you easily see what makes the bird more comfortable. If your bird is in pain your avian vet will be able to prescribe a daily painkiller to make his life more comfortable.

Make sure he is getting a balanced diet. The same diet you use for the mature bird should be fine, just watch him for signs of losing weight or becoming obese.

Volkman Avian Science Super Parrot Bird Food Seed Mix (8 LB)

This is an example of a good scientific diet for your parrot, as it is balanced and nutritious. Simply click on the picture to find out more.

  • 1 – 8lb bag consisting of a chunky blend of shelled peanuts, pumpkin seed, coconut, papaya, banana, striped sunflower, and safflower.
  • This delicious blend of ingredients supplies a range of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your Parrot’s health.
  • Avian Science Parrot Food is clean, dust-free and ideal for African Greys, Cockatoos and Macaws.
  • Provides essential nutrients your bird needs to live a long, healthy life.

W.C. Redmon Redmon Digital Scale for Bird and Small Animal

This is a great scale to have in your possession for any bird owner and you can keep track of your birds weight accurately. Try to weigh your bird at least once a week, especially if the pet bird is older.

Make sure you examine your pet birds condition daily. Look at the condition of his feathers, his posture, his droppings and of course his eyes.

Know the signs of emerging problems by learning the basics of your birds anatomy.

Parrot droppings are often one of the first signs of an internal problem. Birds hide illness unfortunately, but the signs will be a fluffed up bird for a long period of time, sitting on the floor of the cage and a poor appetite.

Make sure you have the contact number of a good avian vet for emergencies.

What Are Parrot Lifespans?

These are the average parrot lifespans, and they vary, as some have lived far longer than the norm.

Budgerigars – 6 years

Cockatiels – 15 years

Conures – tend to live for some 25-30 years on average, though some smaller members of the Conure family may only reach 15-20 years.

Senegals – which are slightly larger than Conures, are known to live for roughly the same period of time – around 25-30 years.

Eclectus –  can be expected to live for around 30 years in captivity.

African Grey Parrots – most of these pet birds die in their 20s and 30s. But some live into their 50s.

Amazon Parrots – of a similar size to Greys, Amazons tend to live longer . They may reach ages of some 60 years when well cared-for in captivity.aging pet bird

Sulphur Crested Cockatoes – anything from 20 to 70 years. Most only live up to forty years in the wild. The larger the cockatoe, the longer its life expectancy.

Green-wing Macaws – these are parrots with one of the longest life expectancies. Due to their long lifespan, their maximum age varies considerably. A healthy, captive green wing can reach 50-60 years of age. It is not unusual for individuals to live longer.

Final Note:

“My experience with elderly birds indicates that when they are handled with understanding and respect, they show an increased potential for affection. 

As with some elderly humans, they appear able to see right through the layers of superficiality, and right to the core of the situation. Looking deep in their eyes, you know you are dealing with an old soul.”

I read this last statement on a website called Northern Parrots and I thought it was beautiful.


  1. Wanting to find out my cockatiels age by looking up his leg band – hop8499 or hopB499. We got him from a friend in Colorado in 1990, 91 or 92 and he was around 2 years old at the time. He is still well but showing his age a little now and I was curious because we think he may be the oldest Cockatiel alive in captivity. Would be great to find out. Can you help us??

    1. I am not sure how the leg bands work on that side of the world, but hopefully, somebody who reads this will be able to help. Wow, he sounds really old – well over twenty which is rare indeed.

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