How Long Can Hummingbirds Live? – Longevity Revealed

Hummingbirds are enchanting creatures known for their vibrant colors, rapid wingbeats, and ability to hover mid-air. While much attention is given to their remarkable agility and feeding habits, it is equally important to explore the lifespan of these fascinating avian species.

On average, hummingbirds have relatively short lifespans compared to larger bird species. The typical lifespan of a hummingbird ranges from 3 to 5 years, but this can vary depending on various factors.

In this article, you will learn about the average lifespan of hummingbirds, factors influencing their longevity, and notable cases of exceptional longevity.

Lifespan of Hummingbirds

The lifespan of hummingbirds can vary depending on factors such as species, environmental conditions, and individual circumstances.

Generally, the average lifespan of hummingbirds in the wild ranges from 3 to 5 years. However, some hummingbird species have been known to live up to 12 years, while others may have shorter lifespans.

Some factors influencing their lifespan include predation, environmental conditions, availability of food sources, disease, and migration hazards.

In terms of species-specific lifespan, here are a few examples:

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)

The average lifespan of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds is around 3 to 5 years, although some individuals have been known to live up to 10 years.

Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna)

Anna’s Hummingbirds have an average lifespan of 4 to 5 years in the wild, but there have been records of individuals living up to 10 years.

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)

Rufous Hummingbirds generally have a shorter lifespan compared to some other species, with an average of 3 to 4 years in the wild.

Broad-Tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus)

This species of hummingbird found in North America. The average lifespan of a Broad-tailed Hummingbird in the wild is around 4 to 6 years. However, some individuals have been known to live up to 12 years.

Do Hummingbirds Only Pollinate Red Flowers?

Hummingbirds are important pollinators for various flower species, but they are not limited to red flowers. While red flowers and hummingbirds have a symbiotic relationship, these birds also visit flowers of other hues, including purple, orange, and even white. Their long beaks and tongues allow them to reach deep into floral tubes to access nectar, aiding cross-pollination in diverse plant populations.

Factors Influencing Hummingbird Lifespan

The lifespan of hummingbirds can be influenced by various factors, including:


Predation is a significant factor affecting the lifespan of hummingbirds. They are vulnerable to predation by larger birds, mammals, and reptiles. Avoiding predators and finding safe nesting sites are crucial for their survival.

Environmental Conditions

The environment plays a role in determining hummingbird lifespan. Severe weather events, such as storms or droughts, can impact their ability to find food and shelter. Extreme temperatures or prolonged periods of unfavorable conditions can stress and weaken hummingbirds, affecting their survival.

Habitat Availability and Quality

The availability and quality of suitable habitat directly influence hummingbird lifespan. Habitat loss, degradation, or fragmentation can limit resources and increase competition, affecting their lifespan.

Food Availability

The availability and abundance of nectar sources throughout their range directly impact their ability to find sufficient food. Changes in floral composition, blooming times, or disruptions in migratory routes can affect their food availability and, consequently, their lifespan.

Migration Hazards

For migratory hummingbird species, the challenges and hazards faced during long-distance migrations can influence their lifespan. These hazards include adverse weather conditions, exhaustion, collisions with structures, pesticide exposure, and finding suitable stopover sites for rest and refueling.

Disease and Parasites

Like any wildlife species, hummingbirds can be susceptible to diseases and parasites. Avian diseases, such as avian malaria or avian influenza, and parasites like mites or lice, can impact their health and lifespan.

Individual Factors

Individual characteristics, such as genetics, overall health, and reproductive success, can influence hummingbird lifespan. Strong genetic traits, good physical condition, successful breeding, and effective foraging strategies can contribute to longer lifespans.


Hummingbirds, with their delicate yet resilient nature, continue to captivate bird enthusiasts worldwide. While their lifespans may be relatively short compared to larger bird species, understanding the factors influencing their longevity is essential for their conservation.

By addressing threats such as predation, habitat loss, and ensuring a steady supply of food resources, we can contribute to the well-being of these remarkable birds.



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