African Grey Parrot Lifespan

african grey parrot

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The African Grey Parrot can live for up to 50 years in the wild, and 80 in captivity

Imagine a creature referred to as the Einstein of the bird’s world. Albert Einstein, a revered physicist, probably had no great (or zero) interest in ornithology. 

But the African Grey Parrot is so intelligent that it is compared to this great man. 

Not only can it talk and mimic sounds, but it also attunes to the emotions of its handler. But the question is, how long can this bird live?

How Long Do African Grey Parrots Live?

The African Grey Parrot can live for up to 50 years in the wild, and 80 in captivity. 

There are two subspecies of this bird – the Congo African Grey Parrot and the Timneh African Grey Parrot. 

If you are not keen enough, it can be challenging to notice a difference between the two.

The latter has a longer lifespan because in captivity, the care granted by humans makes the bird less susceptible to possible fatality caused by illness and predators. 

That said, the oldest African Grey Parrot to have ever existed is said to have lived for 90 years. 

The biggest determining factors for a parrot’s lifespan are luck and genetics. However, you can prolong your pet’s life by taking good care of them.

african grey parrot
The oldest African Grey Parrot kept in captivity reached 90 Years old

Factors that Influence the Lifespan of an African Grey Parrot

Like other pets, you need to provide good care and attention to your African Parrot to increase their lifespan. 

It needs a proper diet, adequate exercise and even your attention to ensure that it lives well.

Here are the factors that influence the lifetime of an African Grey Parrot.


A common misconception among parrot owners is that the bird needs seeds only to survive. 

While seeds are a major ingredient of parrots’ diet, these creatures have a preference for fruits. 

African Grey Parrot Lifespan 1
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Fruits have high glucose content, meaning that they provide more energy for the birds thus the preference.

Wild African Grey Parrots feed on anything they find. We feed Bignose ( Our Parrot ) a staple base diet of Volkman Avian Science Super African Grey Bird Food.

Besides fruits and seeds, they will eat flowers, leaves, insects, and tree bark. Also, they can invade farms to feed on crops.

If you want your pet parrot to live for many years, you need to diversify its diet.

Ensure that its meals consist of fruits, vegetables, and more importantly, high-quality pellets and seed mixes. 

You can also throw in boiled eggs, rice, lentils, pasta, dandelion leaves, etc.

Insufficient supply of calcium usually causes severe symptoms in African Grey Parrots. 

This is why it is advisable to provide calcium blocks to your pet, or better yet, give them foods that have a high concentration of calcium, such as kale.

Housing and Lighting

African Grey Parrot Lifespan 2
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Another reason why parrots die early is because of improper housing and inadequate lighting. 

Due to their massive size, African Grey Parrots require a lot of space for moving around. 

If you keep them indoors, you need a special bulb that produces UV-B rays, similar to the sun’s.

Failing to provide your African Grey Parrot with adequate UV-B light increases the risk of hypocalcaemia. 

After some time, this condition could make your bird more susceptible to seizures, secondary infections and damage to the feathers.

These special bulbs are quite expensive and require regular replacing. If left unchanged, they lose their efficiency. 


Obesity can kill your African Grey Parrot, which is why it is advisable to check its weight often. 

Because of the high density of feathers, it can be difficult to ascertain your bird’s weight using your naked eye.

The best way to keep your bird’s weight in check is by exercising it regularly. 

You can do this by expanding the size of the cage so that it moves around more freely. Also, ensure that its diet contains more forage.


Birds are more prone to poor air quality than humans.

Smoking is certainly wrong, but you should also avoid spraying perfumes and other aerosols near their cages. 

Candle and wax burners are also harmful to your parrot’s health.


Mental health is as important to your African Grey Parrot as it is to you.

Loneliness is the primary cause of stress among these birds since they are social creatures.

Some of the signs of stress include plucking and uneasiness. To avoid these, handle your bird gently and interact with it more often.


Apart from being intelligent, African Grey Parrots can live for many years if you take proper care of them.  

The secret to ensuring your pet lives longer is to provide proper diet, adequate exercise, sufficient aeration, and managing their stress levels.

Lastly, it is advisable to avoid changing owners too frequently.

African Grey Parrots tend to get emotionally attached to the owner, meaning that you need to keep them for as long as possible. 

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