Not only are the hummingbirds incredibly cute and attractive with their hums, mid-air hover, and their brilliant iridescent plumage, but these cute little creatures possess some amazing abilities as well.
But how do these birds live and for how long? And how do they die?
The question of how long these hummingbirds live is not a straightforward one to answer, a lot depends on the species and the environment they live in.
However, to make things simple, the average age can be from 3 to 12 years and like all birds, hummingbirds face threats, both from other animals and from humans.
Most hummingbirds die their first year, but when they’ve survived a full annual cycle, their life expectancy goes up dramatically.
Based on banding studies, 7 or 8 years is a ripe old age for most hummingbirds in the wild. Ruby-throated hummingbirds have lived 9 years. And one banded female broad-tailed hummingbird in Colorado made it to age 12.
A zoo that’s properly set up to care for these birds may stretch longevity. Two black-chinned hummingbirds at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson lived to 13 or 14 years old.
We don’t have much information on the Costa’s hummingbird. But a male with his gorget (throat patch) just developing would be a little less than 1 year old.
Ruby-throated hummingbird – average lifespan 9 years
Magnificent Hummingbird – average lifespan 7 years
Rufous Hummingbird – average lifespan 8 years
Bee hummingbird – average lifespan7 years
To answer the question how do they die, there are many factors, one important one being their environment.
It is also important to remember that many hummers also die a slow and painful death due to starvation.
With the changing climates and the subsequent changes to the flora and fauna of any particular region, a decrease in food sources is unfortunately becoming a common factor in premature demise of not only hummingbirds, but many other animals as well.
Rapid urbanization is also playing its part in destroying hummingbird-friendly habitats. As we build more towns and cities, more of the hummingbird’s natural habitat is being destroyed.