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  • Hummingbird Life Expectancy

    How Long Does A Hummingbird Live?

    The life span of a hummingbird is considered to be long, for an organism with such a rapid metabolism. Most hummingbirds die during their first year of life. They die mainly during that period between hatching and the time they leave the nest. During this period of their life a hummingbird is very vulnerable.

    Those hummingbirds that do survive have the capability to live ten tears or more. Most hummingbirds, among the better known species that occupy North America, the hummingbird life expectancy will be on the average of 3 to 5 years. In the wild, the longest recorded life span of a hummingbird was a female broad-tailed hummingbird. That particular hummingbird was banded when it was an adult, which made it at least 1 year old at the time it was banded. Eleven years later that same female broad-tailed hummingbird was recaptured, making her at least 12 years old.

    Several other banded hummingbirds that lived a  similarly long life span and similar in size, were a female black-chinned hummingbird with an estimated age of at least 10 years 1 month and a much larger buff-bellied hummingbird that was estimated to be at least 11 years 2 months.

    Hummingbirds are captured and fitted with a band that is numbered, then if they are recaptured their age can be determined.  Here is a great video on hummingbird banding.