Last Updated on February 20, 2023 by Cristina
How long do hummingbirds live in captivity? Learn all about the lifespan of these beautiful creatures.
Not only are they incredibly cute and adorable, but these little creatures also possess some of the most amazing abilities. The most obvious example that confirms this is their flight, namely, they can fly up, down, backward, and sideways.
In addition, kingfishers have the fastest wing beats that can vary from 12 to 90 times per second, depending on the species, and are known as the strongest migrants in the entire bird kingdom.
However, what many are interested in is how long do hummingbirds live in captivity? Here are some facts about their life cycle that might surprise all bird lovers.
General Information About The Lifespan Of Hummingbirds
To begin with, there are at least 350 known species of these beautiful birds that belong to the Trochilidae family. They are native to America, with the largest percentage inhabiting Central and South America, and only about a dozen species migrating to North America each year to spend the summer there.
Did you know that most hummers die during their first year of life? Although a bit sad, this is really true. However, once it survives its first year, the chances of a longer lifespan increase dramatically. Truth be told, everything depends on the type of hummingbird, but according to scientific research, the largest percentage of them have a lifespan of 3-4 years.
Although this will sound quite short to many, it is important to remember that these are creatures that live incredibly fast and have supercharged metabolisms. When everything is taken into account, 3-5 years is actually a rather long lifespan.
In addition, we must mention that hummingbirds that live in the tropics have a much longer lifespan, there are even records of individuals that have survived for more than a decade.
Now you are probably wondering what was the oldest hummingbird ever recorded? It is a female Broad-tailed Hummingbird that still holds this title. Researchers first noticed this individual in Colorado back in 1976, when it was a one-year-old adult, and then again in the same region, but in 1987. This actually means that this bird was at least 12 years old.
In addition to this specimen, we should also mention the ruby-throated hummingbird that died at the age of 6 years and 11 months, as well as the female black-chinned hummingbird that was at least 10 years old when last found.
Let’s move on to the main part of this article, in which we will offer you the correct answer to the question “how long do hummingbirds live in captivity “. So, keep reading and find out.
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Question Of The Day: How Long Do Hummingbirds Live In Captivity?
Before you know the answer to this question, you need to know one very important thing, and that is that hummingbirds generally don’t thrive in captivity. They are simply not made for that kind of life. In addition, their unique, tiny size makes them difficult to care for in captive environments.
However, there are numerous zoos and aviaries around the world that have been successfully keeping these little creatures in captivity for years. Such places give all their visitors the opportunity to get to know hummingbirds better because they offer incredible opportunities for observation, study, and photography.
So, how long do hummingbirds live in captivity? If they are provided with perfect living conditions, with proper feeding and nutrition, hummingbirds can live up to 14 years in captivity, i.e. in facilities such as zoos and aviaries. To be honest, that’s a lot longer compared to life in the wild where, as we mentioned before, the lifespan is 3-5 years.
Are There Any Legal Regulations For Keeping Hummingbirds As Pets?
Trust us, we were a little surprised to hear that some people are considering keeping a hummer as a pet. We have to tell you that it is not a smart idea at all, moreover, it is illegal to tame hummingbirds.
Did you know that according to the US Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 under CITES Appendix 2, it is strictly prohibited to keep any migratory bird as one’s own pet? Our recommendation is to avoid this at all costs as breaking this law could cost you a staggering $200,000. The only exceptions to this rule are facilities such as zoos and aviaries.
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How Do Hummingbirds Die?
After knowing the answer to the question of “how long do hummingbirds live in captivity”, people are most often interested in how these birds die. That’s why we will try to explain it to you briefly.
We assume that at least once you have heard that hummingbirds die in their sleep, but this is just a myth. As we have already said, they barely live to see their first birthday, and those who do, die as adults die a normal death.
We have to tell you a very painful and terrible truth, and that is that a large percentage of them die a slow and painful death due to starvation.
To Conclude: How Long Do Hummingbirds Live In Captivity?
Hummingbirds are small, beautiful creatures that can only live a few years, however, their life expectancy is variable, with some surviving for more than a decade.
We hope you liked this article. If you have any questions, contact us in the section below.
Do hummingbirds do well in captivity?
Unfortunately, hummingbirds do not do well in captivity because they are simply not made for such a life. Additionally, their unique, tiny size makes them difficult to care for in these types of environments.
What Is The Average Life Span Of A Hummingbird?
According to scientific research, the largest percentage of these beautiful birds has a lifespan of 3-4 years.
Is It Legal To Keep A Hummingbird As A Pet?
According to the US Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 under CITES Appendix 2, it is strictly prohibited to keep any migratory bird as one's own pet.
Can You Domesticate A Hummingbird?
The shortest and also the only correct answer to this question is no, you cannot have a hummingbird as a pet. This is completely unethical and prohibited by law.