Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Green Rump Parrotlet Life Span


In September of 1996 we obtained a Greenrump parrotlet from you and named him "Tasi", which is Chamorru for "ocean". While he had some health issues in his early years (GI infections) which had to be treated and were avoided later with closer supervised and healthier nutrition, he lived to almost 15 years and passed away without any sign of illness overnight in June.
Dr. Dustin from the Bay Area Bird Hospital had been our trusted vet for all these years. We needed to see her almost every 6 weeks in the last few years of Tasi's life to have his beak trimmed, as the lower mandible tended to grow to much (or fast).

We thought you might be interested in feedback as far as the life expectancy is concerned. You had initially told us Parrotlets may live "up to the early 20s", Dr. Dustin estimated 15 to 20 years. Sadly, he did not even reach the lower end of that range.



Dear Alex:

Thank you for your email. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Tasi. I am sure you and your family must be grieving and I am so sorry for your loss.

I hope that someday you will find comfort in the fact that your bird lived a long, happy life where he was loved and enjoyed. Unfortunately, longevity in captive-bred parrotlets is proving not to be as lengthy, in many cases, as their wild-caught counterparts did. I bred wild-caught parrotlets for 15 years prior to the ban being instituted in 1992. We obviously did not know the age of the birds when they were imported but they routinely, at least in my aviary, for 18-20 years or more. I am one of the people in the US who is actually qualified to state that based on my own knowledge; very few people who keep parrotlets today were around 20 years ago so they, and I am assuming your vet is one of them, just repeating information they have read and have no direct knowledge of lifespans simply because they never had the birds as long as I did.

One thing that has become apparent in the last 20 years, is that captive bred parrotlets do not live as long as their wild-caught counterparts. This happens with many species of animals so it is not surprising. Today, a domestically-raised parrotlet’s average lifespan is much more like 10-15 years not the 15 to 20 like the originally imported birds. Also, please remember that the term ‘average’ means just that – its is an ‘average’ based on an entire population NOT something that can be applied to individual birds. I myself have lost 6 friends in the last 10 years to cancer ALL of them under the age of 40. That isn’t an average lifespan for a human so we simply cannot expect all of our birds to live as long as the ‘average’. Some have lives that are much shorter and some have lives that are longer (I have an uncle that is 97 – he too, does not have an ‘average’ human lifespan).

So, I do hope that you will not let something as nebulous as ‘average life span’ contribute to any grief or sorrow you feel over the loss of your bird. 15 is extremely old for a parrotlet these days and it is obviously due to your meticulous care and devotion. I hope you and your family will find comfort and even joy in remembering what a wonderful, happy and very long life you and your family gave Tasi.

Best of luck to you and your family and thank you for contacting me and letting me know.

Sincerely yours,

Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S.
The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, www.parrotletranch.com
Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization www.internationalparrotletsociety.org
A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest.
Camaroonian Phrase

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.