Magpie lifespans

To: "'Alberta Hayes'" <>, "'Canberra Birds'" <>
Subject: Magpie lifespans
From: "Mark Clayton" <>
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2010 15:47:55 +1100

Hi Alberta,


From memory, the oldest bird banded under the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Schemes, is over 26 years old. So far this is probably the exception as mortality is high in the first few years of life but it wouldn’t surprise me if magpies in general lived on average 15 to 20 years. We have thornbills and scrubwrens pushing 18 to 20 years old and are now regularly getting shearwater species over 40 years. Australia’s birds generally live longer than birds in Europe and North America as we don’t normally get their climate extremes. If you google the Environment Australia website, then follow the links to the ABBBS site, you can find a whole host of information on longevity on Australia’s birds.


Hope this is of some use.






From: Alberta Hayes [
Sent: Wednesday, 27 January 2010 3:13 PM
To: Canberra Birds
Subject: [canberrabirds] Magpie lifespans


Hey everyone,

My friends have taken to asking me bird related questions whenever they think of them, an whilst I can generally answer them, they did ask one I didn't know yesterday. 
How long do magpies live for?  I can't say I've ever thought about it, but thought maybe 10 years?  How wrong am I?

Alberta Hayes, bombarded with questions since friends got new housemates, Monash.

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