Parakeet Lifespan how long do parakeets live?

Parakeet Lifespan how long do parakeets live?

If you are a pet lover who has been around bird pets for a reasonable time frame, then the name parakeet should not sound alien to you. Also known as budgerigars or budgies, parakeets are tiny adorable bird pets of the parrot family known for their bosom relationship and emotional bond with the pet owner. The musical whistles and the cheerful, friendly, and curious nature of these tiny colorful birds are sure to inspire a calming effect and stir joy and gratification within you.

But as is the case with most pet owners, at the back of your mind you must be having this perturbing worry of how long your cherished little pal will manage to stick around.

So, we invested time and effort to research extensively and find out every information there is to know as far as parakeet lifespan goes. And if you think that’s not enough, in this article we have also highlighted the possible ways of slowing aging, adding years upon years to your birds’ life, and celebrating double-digit birthdays. Join us as we take you through our findings.


three green budgerigars perching on tree branch
Three green budgerigars perching on tree branch

The Average Parakeet lifespan

Ultimately, the aging profile of a parakeet will depend on the type or breed of the budgie. The ordinary budgerigar can stick around for up to 20 years. If well cared for, these lovely birds can withstand upwards of 14 years in captivity.

The Guinness Book of World records documents a 29-year-old budgie hen named Charlie from London as the oldest parakeet that ever lived.

However, the parakeet life is often cut short much earlier than old age can account for. Ahead, you will find some of the possible causes of premature death of a budgie;

  • Diseases such as parrot fever, beak and feather virus
  • External parasites like mites and intestinal worms like hookworms
  • Body injuries and traumatic injuries
  • Toxic foods such as onions and garlic, and digestive upsets
  • Extreme temperatures and harsh environmental conditions
  • Poisonous substances such as medical pills and heavy metals among others.

Life Span of wild parakeet compared to parakeet in captivity.

In the wild, parakeets thrive in colonies. Native to Australia, the birds hardly make it past twelve years in their natural habitats, usually far away from civilization. The shortened parakeet lifespan is a result of the high competition for food, predatory attacks from larger birds and wild animals, diseases and parasites, harsh climatic conditions, and more.

Meanwhile, in captivity, you expect a longer parakeet lifespan provided the owner offers a comfortable home and care for them properly. From the beginning of your journey of birdie ownership onwards to the time it reaches a ripe old age, your feathered friend will enjoy the following;

  • A balanced diet in proper quantities.
  • Less stress from competition and husbandry issues.
  • Safe environment with no predators and lower chances of injuries.
  • Moderated climatic conditions.
  • Veterinary care.

That said, a parakeet in captivity is likely to live longer, with proper care, than its counterpart in the wild.

Factors that affect the life expectancy of a Parakeet

Of course, longevity is beyond human control and determined by genetics and metabolism. However, the various aspects we have mentioned below will influence the length of a parakeet’s life. More than that, we have shared with you several little secrets to extending the life of the charming bird.

Shall we take a look?


Giving frequent meals to the bird and maintaining a healthy diet will see your little friend staying around for decades. Ensure the diets offer a bounty of nutrients to prevent deficiencies and health problems.

If you are in a comfortable financial position, you can purchase pellets made of grains, and other types of commercial bird food. Nevertheless, budgies love whole seeds and cereals like millet, sunflower, and canary seeds. Pellets and grains are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Along with that, nuts such as walnuts, pecans, and almonds are an excellent way of providing omega 3 essential fatty acids.

Furthermore, you will also want to make sure that the budgie gets enough fresh fruits and vegetables like finely chopped kale, spinach, carrots, pears, and grapes. Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins and antioxidants that boost the birds’ immunity and increase resistance to stress.

No matter how much the bird may be interested, avoid feeding it with onion and garlic, chocolate, peanuts, avocado, coffee, and dairy products.

Not just that. Make sure you provide clean water throughout the day to keep your bird hydrated. If you doubt the purity of the water, using bottled water will be a great idea.

two beautiful Parakeets
Two beautiful Parakeets

Credit to Unsplash free image source

Health care

Of all indoor pets, parakeets demand the least human care. Do not hesitate to visit the vets every time you suspect the bird is unwell. Common signs of a sick bird include wet and runny droppings, tears flowing endlessly from the eyes, chills, and fever. The vet can also advise on the correct husbandry to keep the budgie healthy.

Another aspect worth mentioning is good sanitation and hygiene. Make sure you clean the birds’ cage frequently if you want to extend the parakeet lifespan. Wash hands before and after coming into contact with the bird to prevent transmission of bacterial and fungal infections from or to the bird.


The importance of exercise cannot be stressed enough. Physical fitness is also every bit as important as the bird’s health. Working out keeps the bird physically active, undoes signs of aging, and rejuvenates muscles that weaken with age. Allow the bird regular opportunities out of the confinement and let it run around outside the cage, fly and make perches.

Parrots are obsessed with chewing and destroying anything you throw at them. Chewing and climbing activities are effective in keeping their beaks and talons in prime shape. Therefore, consider spreading toys such as a rope or mirror around the bird’s little home to keep him engaged. Ensure the toys are products of non-toxic materials.

Proper Housing

The cage should be sizable enough to allow the birdie to move around easily. So, the bigger the parakeets cage the better. Place the cage away from the windows. Not to forget cleaning the cage of the pet bird regularly to prevent the outbreak of diseases. Also, ensure you provide a bath in the cage since budgies love to play in the water.

Parakeets have weak respiratory systems that cannot stand up to fumes and air pollution. Avoid strong odors, smoke, and other gases that budgies may be sensitive to. Loud noises and noisy children could also frighten and traumatize the birds and scare them into injuries.  


Parakeets are flock animals that thrive in colonies. The birds are friendly and social creatures that will barely survive in isolation. Therefore, allow your bird to socialize every day to prevent the feeling of loneliness and isolation and keep depression at bay.

Isn’t socializing your favorite part of committing to adopting a budgie? Maintain strong social networks and close ties with the budgie. Remember, the bird is not born interacting with humans, take your time to train the bird to adjust their instincts and behaviors to match your households and culture.

What is the cost of a parakeet?

Parakeets cost between $10 and $60 depending on the species, age of the bird, and whether you buy it from pet stores or professional. Within comfortable reach of the budget shopper, right?

Well, that’s not all. You will need to factor in the cost of a new cage, feeds, toys, perches, and food and water bowls, among others. This brings the initial investment to about $200.

White and blue bird on cage
White and blue bird on cage

Credit to Unsplash free image source

Can parakeets live in the wild?

The answer is yes. Apart from those bred in captivity, wild parakeets are also a dominant species in open grasslands and plains in Australia. Feral parakeets are also common wild-living birds in Great Britain, South America, Africa, and India. They live in large flocks.

Where does parakeets live?

In the wild budgies are common in grasslands and plains. The birds are usually nomadic with no specific territory. They move along with the rain feeding on grain, fruits, and new growth. Unlike ordinary birds, budgies seldom make nests. The birds prefer residing in hollow cavities on trunks of trees, Eucalyptus being their favorite.

Did you know that the wild parakeet gives each other names for easy identification of friends and families?

How to Train the pet bird

As lovely as they are, parakeets can turn into tiny beasts if you do not raise them right and train them to be well-mannered. Remember the adage; there are no bad pets, just bad owners.

So, after you’ve adopted or bought your little friend and brought them into your home, you ;

  1. Give the pet parakeet time to settle in the new environment. Four days should be enough.
  2. Spend some time sitting next to the cage and hand-feed the parakeet every day.
  3. Once you’re convinced that the bird has gotten used to you, place your hand in the cage for a short while.
  4. Talk to the little thing gently. Be kind. Call budgerigar by its name. Do not shout or try to scare the budgie.
  5. Try laying grains on your hand and offering it to the bird. Should they come and eat from your hand, you can go ahead and feed the bird.

Frequently Asked Questions

a)    How big can a parakeet get?

Budgerigars are small and slender birds with long tails and can only grow to a maximum length of 18 cm or 7.1 inches, and a wingspan of 30 cm (12 inches).

The most weight the bird can attain is 30 – 40 grams.

b)    What is the difference between a parakeet and a budgie?

Parakeets and budgies are more like the same. While Americans usually refer to the birds like parakeets, the rest of the world popularly calls them budgerigars or budgie

c)    Can a blue parakeet talk?

Absolutely, you can teach a blue parakeet to talk. There are recorded cases of the blue parakeets squeaking out one or two words that are very familiar to it. It will however take a lot of time and persistence.

d)     How long can a parakeet live without food?

Parakeets have a very active metabolism. Therefore, the birds will get ill or even worse, die if you don’t feed them within 48 – 72 hours. Make sure you feed the birds in small quantities at regular intervals.

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