Bird Age Calculator

By Hanna Pamuła, PhD candidate
Last updated: Jun 29, 2021

With this bird age calculator, you can estimate the age of your feathered pet, be it a parakeet, a cockatiel, a lovebird, or a canary. If you've ever wondered how old is your budgie in human years, we have the answer - just type in the birds years and we'll take care of the rest.

If you're interested in the topic, read the article below to learn how long pet birds live or what their average lifespan is.

Bird years to human years

As you can imagine, there's no universal formula for converting between bird years and human years. Just think about it - how would it be possible to create one single equation that suits both the tiny hummingbird with a lifespan of 3-5 years and that symbol of longevity - the albatross? Wisdom the albatross is the oldest known wild bird in the world - the bird turned 70 in February 2021! That's why you can't say that the five-year-old hummingbird and five-year-old albatross are in the same stage of life, as the former is an elderly bird, happy to survive for so long, and the latter is just a teen, even not ready for breeding.

So, what calculations do we use in this bird age calculator? Well, we take into account the average lifespan of the bird species. Then, through a simple proportion, we deriving the formula for the bird's age equivalent in human years:

bird age = human age * bird average lifespan / human average lifespan

In the tool, we assumed that the average human life expectancy is equal to 72.6 years, as these are the UN's estimates for 2019. If you want, you can change this value in the advanced mode of the bird age calculator.

How long do pet birds live? The average lifespan of pet birds

As there are over nine thousand bird species in the world (some scientists estimate that even more than 18,000), we've chosen just a small fraction of the species diversity for our bird age calculator. Most of you reading this text are probably pet owners, taking care of colorful parakeets, intelligent parrots or chattering canaries or finches, so that's why we've decided to choose this group of birds in our tool. Below you'll find a table of the lifespans of pet birds.

Bird species Lifespan range [yrs] Lifespan average [yrs] Sexually mature
Parakeet / Budgie 5-10 7 >6 months
Cockatiel 16-25 20 >1 yo
Lovebird 10-20 15 >10 months
Zebra finch 5-10 6 >3 months
Canary 8-12 10 >9 months
African grey parrot 40-60 45 3-5 yo
Conure 10-30 15 >2 yo

Remember that the above numbers are just the standard ranges, as the individual pet bird longevity depends on many other factors than just its species. Proper care, a balanced diet, enough space, physical exercise, and regular vet check-ups are the keys to long, healthy life for your feathered friend. 🐦

FAQ

How old is my budgie in human years?

A budgie's lifespan ranges from 5 to 10 years, averaging at approximately 7-8 years. Comparing it to the human average life expectancy, you could say that 1 year of budgie life is equal to around 9-10 human years. So:

  • A 1 year old parakeet would be 9-10 in human years; and
  • A 2 year old parakeet is 18-20 in human years;

And so on. Of course, it's a rough estimate, as budgies reach sexual maturity after around 6-7 months and are ready to be parents after around one year (which isn't true of a 9-year-old child, right?)

How to tell the age of a cockatiel?

The best way to determine a cockatiel's age is a hatch certificate and leg band. Unfortunately, it's not very easy to tell the bird's age on based on the bird's look, but there are a few hints that can help in distinguishing between an immature and adult bird:

  1. Feet - Young birds have smooth claws and feet without scales. Older birds may have cracks and irregularities on their claws, as well as scales.
  2. Head crest - Longer and curvier for adults, shorter and straight in immature birds.
  3. Feathers - Young birds (<1 year old) have more restrained colors, and the tail is a bit shorter than in more vividly colored adults.
  4. Energy level - Birds between 2 and 3 years old are more playful and energetic; later on, they need more napping and rest (but first check that this isn't a health issue).

How to tell a budgie's age?

The best way to know the parakeet's exact age is a hatch certificate and leg band. If it's not available, you can check two features to estimate the budgie's age:

  1. Cap feathers - <3-4 months: striped cap goes almost to the cere, over 4 months - no bars on the forehead (feature not useful for recessive pied/lutino/albino/DF spangle budgies).
  2. Eyes - Black eyes for <4-5 months, hints of an iris for 4-8 mo, clear, bright iris for bird older than 8 months (feature not useful for recessive pied/dark-eyed clear budgies).

What is the average age of a parrot?

There's no simple answer as different parrot species have different lifespans, so it can be anything from 20 years to 80 years! The world's longest-living bird - according to Guinness World Records - was a Major Mitchell's Cockatoo that lived to be 83 years in captivity.

Hanna Pamuła, PhD candidate
Bird species
Parakeet (Budgie)
image of Parakeet (Budgie)





Bird age 🐦
yrs
Human age 🚶
yrs
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