Parrots are known to be some of the most talented birds in the words, being both intelligent and snarky. Coupled with their unique talent of mimicking human speech, these birds can be great pets. But did you know that many of them have long lifespans, with some breeds living up to 60 years old with a good diet? There are even some that go well beyond that life expectancy! With that being said, here are the world’s oldest parrots!
Note: While there have been other reports from owners and bystanders about other parrots who lived to be older than some of the entries on our list, we’re focusing on parrots who have officially had their ages confirmed, or who have ages generally accepted by the public at least.
Breed: Major Mitchell’s cockatoo
Owner: Brookfield Zoo
photo source: Wikipedia
Cookie was one of the more beloved and known parrots in the world thanks to his adorable antics at Chicagoland’s zoo. He became the world’s oldest parrot according to the Guinness Book of World Records in 2014, though he was later overtaken by another parrot on this list.
Cookie came to the Brookfield Zoo at the age of 1 year old, sent over from the Taronga Zoo in Australia. He was one of the original group of animals at Brookfield Zoo from when it first opened in 1934, and as time went on, he slowly gained an impressive amount of fans. He was known for his adorable interactions with the zoo’s handlers, his beautiful pink and orange fur, and his striking personality
Cookie passed away in August 2016, when he was found listlessly lying at the bottom of his enclosure. He was taken to a vet, and the difficult decision to put him down was made. The parrot was the last of the creatures from Brookfield Zoo’s original group of animals.
Breed: Green-winged macaw
Owner: Pet and Exotics (Originally owned by Birds and Animals Unlimited)
photo source: Twitter
Most birds of Poncho’s breed live to be around 50 or 60, though some can reach 80 years of age with a good, healthy diet. Poncho, however, is 92, and is officially the world’s oldest parrot according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Poncho was owned by Birds and Animals Unlimited, a company that provides Warner Brothers and Universal film studios with animals and creatures needed for their movies. In 2000, she retired officially after shooting 102 Dalmatians as she was too frail to return to the United States. She ended up settling in a nice quiet farm, where she’s been enjoying a peaceful retirement at Becks Pet and Exotics.
According to her new owners, Poncho is very much a diva. In fact, when she first arrived, she was given a nice indoor tree but decided to knock everything off of a nearby shelf and turn that into her home instead. She also stopped flying about 10 years ago, preferring instead to be carried around by those at the farm. She is still in good health, especially for a bird of her age!
Breed: Blue-and-gold macaw
Owner: Heathfield Nurseries (formerly Winston Churchill)
photo source: bbc.co.uk
Charlie may just be the oldest parrot to ever live! She gained a good amount of both fame and notoriety when she became Winston Churchill’s pet parrot when he came into office. Known for being rather foul-mouthed and for imitating Churchill’s rants against Nazis, since her retirement from politics, she has reverted to normal greetings like “hello” and “goodbye”.
Charlie has been living at Heathfield Nurseries, where she is most frequently cared for by the establishment’s manager, Sylvia Martin, who says that she’s gotten slightly grumpy in her old age but is still a bright bird. She’s also become a bit of a celebrity, with some coming all the way to the nursery just to see her.
The old parrot now lives in an aviary with some other rescue birds, including Rosie, a parrot of five years old who is Charlie’s best friend.
It should be noted that there are no certificates that prove Charlie’s age – but given how well-known she is and how her life has been tracked throughout history, we think it’s safe to assume that there’s some credibility to her age, even if she isn’t as old as records say!