Parakeets, also known as budgerigars, are famous for their beautiful colors, intelligence, and talking abilities. They are considered the best pet birds because of their low maintenance and small size.
Did you know that they are not just one breed, but there are actually more than 120 different breeds of parakeets? All of them are different from each other based on their sizes, color, and genetics. There is a clear differentiation among the male and female parakeets, as male parakeets have a bright blue cere, whereas females have a pink or pale blue cere.
If you are keeping a budgie or intend to keep one, you may wonder, how long do parakeets live? What is their lifespan? And so on.
How Long Do Parakeets Live
Parakeets are native to Australia, and a few of its breeds migrated to Southeast Asia. They are usually found in the form of pairs or in flocks. Hence, the best strategy to pet a parakeet is to keep them in pairs or small groups.
This parrot family member is considered the most suitable option for those who want a pet for a long time—we want a pet for lifetimes but, sadly, that may not possible. How long, then, can parakeets manage to live?
Parakeet leaves their nest when it is 30 – 35 days old and can live up to 5-25 years, depending on certain factors. The life cycle of parakeets is shown in the image below.
Parakeets’ life expectancy is determined by estimating different factors, like genetic diseases, lifestyle (whether it is a pet bird or lives in the wild), food (pellet- or seed-based food), surrounding, breed, and healthcare provided to them.
Here is the list of different species of parakeets, along with their life expectancy (captive and wild).
|Types of Parakeets||Life Expectancy||Description|
|Rose-Ringed Parakeet||25-30 years, can live up to 50 years||To ensure that, this bird can live a long and healthy life, give them plenty of food, mental stimulation, and good healthcare.|
|Budgerigar||5-8 years as pet, can live up to 20 years||Their life expectancy is dependent on their diet, lineage, exercise, and healthcare.|
|Mustache Parakeet||20-25 years||Mustache parakeets are comparatively talkative birds, requiring attention and physical and mental fitness along with proper healthcare and good food.|
|Plain Parakeet||15 years as a pet, but can live up to 20 years||Plain parakeets are native to Brazil. Like mustache parakeets, they also require attention and mental and physical fitness.|
|Barred Parakeet||Around 10 years||Life expectancy is based on their hereditary characters, lifestyle, and exercise along with good care and food.|
|Golden Parakeet||20-25 years as pet, can live up to 30 years||Same as above|
|Grass Parakeet||10 years||Grass parakeets’ lifespan is based on their genetic history (they have a diabetic lineage), healthcare and the diet they receive.|
|Green-Cheeked Parakeet||10 years as a pet, but can live up to 30 years—if taken under exceptional care||Bring delight parakeets, they require constant care, neat, and peaceful environment for better nourishment and to live long.|
Wild Parakeet Lifespan vs. Parakeets in Captivity
There are more than 120 varieties of parakeets, some are kept as pet birds, and others wander in the wild. It is very difficult to estimate their life expectancy, but the average lifespan of pet parakeets is 10-15 years. If handled with care along with a proper diet, some parakeets can live up to 20 years. In the wild, parakeets can live up to 30 years.
Wild parakeets live in the natural environment, living in tree limbs or tree cavities (hollowed trees). Most people wrongly assume that pet parakeets live longer than wild ones. In the wild, they think, parakeets are constant prey of big birds and lack the necessary care required for healthy and longer life.
But that is not true.
The lifespan of wild parakeets is up to 30 years, 10 years more than pet parakeets. Wild parakeets are happy parakeets; they are independent birds, fly all day for the water and food. Since parakeets thrive well as part of a flock, they are always found in pairs or flocks of 20-100 birds. Their access to many seasonal fruits, vegetables, and seeds and their activities and stable mental health help them live longer than pet birds.
Other than falling prey to big birds, there is no danger for parakeets in the wild.
How Long Do Parakeets Live in Captivity
How long a parakeet lives in captivity entirely depends on the one who keeps it. Parakeets are small and fragile birds requiring proper care and a balanced diet to live fully. In general, their lifespan varies from 6 to 12 years.
They are considered more secure in captivity because there is no fear of predators or abrupt changes in the climate (rain, hot weather, winds, storms, snowfall, etc.).
Other than that, pet parakeets are totally dependent on their owner for everything—food, activities, shelter, environment, and company. Little negligence, in any of the things they are dependent on us for, can cause serious health issues like obesity or diabetes.
Lastly, their mental health may be another factor determining the lifespan of pet parakeets. While we love them, they may still not be as happy as they would be with their own siblings.
How to Tell the Age of a Parakeet
Bird owners are always curious to know about the age of their parakeets. There are few ways you can estimate the age of your parakeet. We list some of them below.
1. Baby Parakeets
If a parakeet is happy, curious, open to try new food and activities and interact with other birds and animals around, it shows that the parakeet is still a baby.
The age of baby parakeets is 6 weeks to 6 months. They are fond of talking and chipping.
2. Adult Parakeets
If a parakeet is cautious of people and birds around them and is comparatively more confident and energetic, these are the signs of adult parakeets.
The age of adult parakeets ranges from 6 months to 3 years. They are fond of climbing, talking, and flying.
3. Middle-Aged to Senior Parakeets
If a parakeet avoids activities and exercises and prefers to stay calm (comparatively lower energy) and take long naps, these are what middle age parakeets do.
They enjoy a peaceful environment and long naps.
Factors Affecting How Long Do Parakeets Live
Many factors are associated with the life expectancy of parakeets, and by taking into account these factors, the life expectancy of a bird can be increased up to 5 years. Major factors are listed below.
Food plays a vital role in affecting the life expectancy of a bird. Parakeets are small birds, but they require many nutrients similar to big birds.
Seed-based food is recommended for baby parakeets. Most pet owners keep using a seed-based diet for the grown-ups, too. But seeds alone cannot provide all the nutrients and minerals to birds and may cause obesity if used invariably for long.
Therefore, a pellet-based diet is recommended along with fruits and vegetables in definite portions. But whatever is the food, it should be in moderation.
To read more about the food requirements of a parakeet, click the link here.
2. Environment and Space
Parakeets love a calm and serene environment. To keep them mentally healthy, place their cages in a warm and quiet room with ample light.
They have a sensitive respiratory system, which can easily be affected by pollution and dust fumes. Clean their cage on a regular basis, or at least once a week. Similarly, use a bird shower for cleaning and cooling purposes.
Pet parakeets are reluctant to share their space with other birds; they are comfortable when they are alone. Some species of parakeets enjoy other parakeet companions like Plum-headed parakeets.
Since they are inherently curious birds and love to explore their cage and enjoy regular exercises, provide them big cage.
Toys make them happy; the most common toys for parakeets are jungle gyms, ropes, and ladders.
3. Veterinary Care for Diseases and Illness
Because of their curious nature, as discussed above, they continuously explore their cage. Sometimes they even can hurt themselves. Therefore, pet parakeets require constant care, and you may even need to frequently visit the vet because of their injuries or scratches.
Parakeets are small in size and are exposed to many diseases like:
2. Psittacine Beak
3. Feather Diseases
4. Avian Bornavirus
To prevent these diseases, you need to do the following.
- Clean the cage regularly.
- Help them avoid interaction with other birds that have not been tested for infections.
- Remove the uneaten food and water from the cage, and clean the pots on a daily basis.
- Inspect your pets for infection and consult a vet if you notice any signs such as
- Abnormal feces
- Urinate more often than before
- Fluffed feathers and listless behavior
- When they stop chipping and stay quiet all the day
How long do parakeets live? To sum up, the life expectancy of parakeets is based on their lifestyle, diet, hereditary lineage, medical history, the environment they live in, and whether they are pet birds or wandering in the wild. Wild parakeets are comparatively independent, whereas pet birds depends on their owner for everything. This is why the former lives longer than the latter.
However, exceptional care can help them outrun their wild counterparts.