How Many Years Do Hummingbirds Live? Top 3 Essential Factors

Last Updated on February 20, 2023 by Cristina

Wondering how many years do hummingbirds live? Keep reading this interesting article to learn more about their lifespan.

It’s finally that time of year when we can enjoy these magnificent birds as they begin their long journey north to enjoy the spring and summer months in North America. What better way to celebrate their beauty than to learn more about them?

Do you want to know how many years do hummingbirds live? Stay with us and find out.

Question Of The Day: How Many Years Do Hummingbirds Live?

To be honest, this question is not at all easy to answer. Are you wondering why? Well, that’s because there aren’t just one species of this bird, in fact, there are over 300 known species with new species being discovered almost every day.

So, how many years do hummingbirds live? Well, considering such a variety of species, we would venture to conclude that their average lifespan is approximately between 3 and 5 years, but this largely depends on the species of the bird.

Question Of The Day - How Many Years Do Hummingbirds Live

Also, we have to mention one sad fact, namely, about 50% of hummingbirds die as chicks or before they are a year old. This usually happens for two reasons, vulnerability, and inexperience, which is why these birds try to lay more than just one egg with each clutch in the hope that at least one of them will survive.

Those birds that make it to their first birthday will probably live to a “deep” old age, but they must remain resilient.

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Is There A Difference In The Life Expectancy Of Males And Females?

Once they find out the answer to the question of “how many years do hummingbirds live”, hardly anyone stops there without asking about some other things as well. Such is the case with this question. Well, find the answer below.

Did you know that males and females don’t spend their lives as a couple? Namely, once after mating, the male abandons his partner, and she continues to care for herself and then for the chicks when they hatch.

As for their life expectancy, it varies from one another. What does that actually mean? In short, males don’t live as long as females, and this happens for several reasons, including territory defense, migration, and weight loss during mating.

It is important to emphasize that males hardly live longer than 5 years, while the case is quite different for females, as they can actually live much longer than just 5 years.

Now that you know the correct answer to the question “how many years do hummingbirds live”, let’s find out more details that might interest you. Read more about the factors that determine their lifespan below.

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Life Expectancy & Determining Factors

1. A Birdie Species

As we have stated many times before, the type of bird plays a big role in how long it will survive both in the wild and in captivity. According to research, much of the life expectancy for each species is longer than just 3-5 years, however, since a large percentage of them die as chicks (about 50%), this lowers the average life expectancy for all hummingbirds.

Furthermore, it is interesting to note that medium to large hummingbirds tends to live longer than smaller ones. This is solely due to their fast lifestyle and even faster metabolism, and accordingly smaller hummingbirds wear their bodies much faster than larger ones.

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2. Food Source

Although those who aren’t familiar with these birds would say the opposite, hummingbirds don’t feed only on nectar, in fact, they have a very diverse diet. It is true that they consume nectar only to maintain their energy to catch their main food, which is insects.

During colder days this can be quite a task, so most of them migrate to warmer regions. Unfortunately, starving and tired individuals are often prone to fatal mistakes that cause them to become disoriented and migrate much further than usual.

3. Omnipotent & Dangerous Predators

Unfortunately, hummingbirds are very small creatures, which makes them vulnerable prey for all kinds of animals. There is almost no such animal that will not cause them some harm if the opportunity arises.

However, hummingbirds are very belligerent and always rely on their speed and agility to outwit predators. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out for them.


To Wrap Things Up

Hummingbirds are beautiful creatures found only in the Northern Hemisphere, and most of them live along the equatorial belt, from where they migrate to the United States and Canada.

The average lifespan of a hummingbird is 3 to 5 years, but it largely depends on the gender as well as the species to which it belongs. Unfortunately, most of them die as chicks (about 50%), which greatly reduces the average lifespan for all hummingbirds.

However, those who make it to their first birthday usually have an average lifespan of 6 years, which in some rare cases can go up to an incredible 10+ years.

Did you know the correct answer to the question “how many years do hummingbirds live” before reading this article? Let us know below!

Read more: Can Hummingbirds Fly In The Rain? The 2 Most Fascinating Attributes That Birds Rarely Have


How Many Years Do Hummingbirds Live

The average lifespan of these birds is approximately between 3 and 5 years, but this largely depends on the species of the bird.


What Is The Longest Living Hummingbird?

Here are the records of the three oldest hummingbirds ever found:

- The longest living ever is the female Broad-tailed Hummingbird that lived at least 12 years old.
- Black-chinned hummingbird, also a female who lived about 10 years.
- Buff-bellied Hummingbird lived until he was 11 years and 2 months old.

Do Hummingbirds Mate For Life?

No, hummingbirds don’t mate for life. They don't practice life as a couple to the extent that they don't even stay together to raise their babies.

How Can You Tell How Old A Hummingbird Is?

It is quite difficult for a layman to determine how old a hummingbird is, but it is not impossible, namely the best way to determine the age is to look at the bill with a hand lens.

Why Do Hummingbirds Stop Coming To Feeders?

One of the most common reasons why these birds stop visiting feeders is migration. In most cases, there is a change in the location of the nest, which forces the birds to look for food elsewhere.