LongevityLength of life. For any given species in the wild, the actual life-span will usually be considerably shorter than its potential because bird mortality is mostly caused by accident rather than old age. In captivity, of course, birds can be much longer-lived. In general, potential longevity is greater in large birds than in small ones. Gulls (family Laridae), for example, may live for over 30 years in the wild, whereas for a small passerine bird half that figure would be very optimistic. In practice, relatively few of the birds hatched in a given breeding season live for more than a few weeks.
Search Bird Dictionary
From Peter Weaver's Birdwatcher's Dictionary
Copyright © 1981 by Peter Weaver