One of the interesting types of data that scientists obtain through bird banding is information on the life span of many bird species. By re-trapping birds or receiving band reports from birdwatchers who find dead birds, scientists can use the database maintained by the Bird Banding Laboratory to determine when and where a bird was first banded. This works especially well with birds who are banded in their first year, providing biologists with a clear picture of the lifespan of many species.
Based on these band recoveries, here are the longest known life-spans for a variety of common bird species from North and Central America.
|Species||Age in “years-months”|
|American White Pelican||31-06|
|Great Blue Heron||24-06|
|Eastern Screech Owl||20-08|
|Great Horned Owl||27-09|
|Eastern Wood Peewee||7-01|
|Florida Scrub Jay||14-11|