I’ve always been amazed by how long birds live.
Some species can be a lifetime companion, and virtually all species will be with you for a few decades at least.
One species that came up in a discussion with a friend the other day was the orange winged amazon, a favorite of both of ours.
So, I decided to look into the question in some detail.
How long do orange winged amazon parrots live?
The answer will depend on whether the bird is in captivity or in the wild, but, on average, anywhere from 50 to 80 years is common. In the wild, these gorgeous birds will live around fifty years, and can live to the ripe old age of 80 if cared for well in a good home.
Parrots of all kinds are animals of huge longevity, rivalling even ourselves.
If they can live for half a century in the wild, it gives you a good idea just how many years they have in them in captivity.
But let’s break down the differences between habitats.
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How long do orange winged amazon parrots live in the wild?
As the name implies, orange-winged amazons are native to South America, from Colombia and Trinidad to Bolivia and Peru.
In some parts of the world colonies have gotten started due to escaped pets starting families, like London and Miami.
Often, the longevity of an orange winged amazon can depend on how close it is to humans.
They are in some places considered a pest, as they are very fond of crops like cocoa.
If they have access to human-augmented nutrients like these, orange winged amazons are likely to live for at least half a century.
Deeper in the rainforests and further from human contact, there may be some discrepancy if they struggle to find food.
However, it’s quite rare that you have a hard time finding seeds and fruits in the rainforest.
So, in general, wild orange winged amazons will live for around half a century, and often longer.
How long do orange winged amazon parrots live in captivity?
Naturally, there can be a huge gap between average lifespan in the wild as opposed to in captivity.
Life in the wild is much more taxing than a life of comfort in someone’s home.
In the wild, if an orange winged amazon lives for 50 years, you can expect to add around an extra 30 years onto that lifespan in captivity.
That’s right, pet orange winged amazons can live for 80 years!
That’s about the same as the average lifespan of most people in developed nations.
Obviously, this will depend on a lot of things.
80 years is about the healthiest and longest life your orange winged amazon is likely to live, and will only live for so long if it is kept in the best of health throughout their whole life.
Most large, South American parrots have similar life spans.
Macaws can live anywhere from 30 to 60 years.
In the wild, breeding pairs will also mate for life, meaning they will have bonds spanning as many as five decades.
How big can orange winged amazons get?
Orange winged amazons are on the larger end of the parrot spectrum, being around 30cm long and weighing around 360-400 grams on average.
This, too, will depend on their diet, and those in captivity are more likely to reach the higher end of the spectrum.
How can I tell how old my orange winged amazon is?
If you don’t already know how old your orange winged amazon is, and it has lost all of its juvenile plumage, then telling its age is really just a guess.
There isn’t a good way to do it.
Generally, orange winged amazons will lose their immature plumage at around 12 weeks old, though some have been known to retain it for up to a year.
So, that gives you an idea of how hard it is to tell.
If you are buying a mature orange winged amazon, you should ask the breeder when they hatched, and make a note of it.
If the breeder doesn’t know, it’s simply a guessing game.
Either way, you are entering in for the long haul with an orange winged amazon, and indeed with almost any parrot.
Birds are very long-lived creatures, and you are unlikely to be buying a very old bird.
All birds being sold by breeders will be recently hatched.
When do orange winged amazon parrots breed?
In the wild, in South America, orange winged amazon parrots breed between January and June.
Naturally, this will be thrown off kilter depending on where you are in the world.
Parrots of all kinds love to be in pairs, so you may have two and be wondering about breeding season.
Breeding parrots is not easy, so you are unlikely to have a nest of surprise chicks if you leave your parrots together.
That said, if you do wish to avoid it, try to separate your birds for some time each day.
As I said, amazon parrots in general tend to mate for life. So, once your pair are bonded, they are likely to show signs of mating for the rest of their lives.
If you want to avoid breeding entirely, consider a same sex pair, or you may have to spend a lot of time over the years trying to curb breeding behavior in your parrots.
So, to recap then, orange winged amazon parrots live for a very long time, often as long as humans.
In the wild they may live for up to half a century or even longer with the right diet.
They mate for life and so spend decades paired to the same parrot.
Your captive parrot could even outlive you, living anywhere up to 80 years with the right healthy diet and lifestyle.
However long it lives its natural life, you will have a companion for many, many years with an orange winged amazon parrot.