Longevity Records

These are some longevity records from our banding studies. Only birds with at least three years between captures are included in the table, and only the two or three oldest birds of each species are noted.  An (*) indicates that the bird was recaptured or recovered dead away from campus.

The minimum age for each bird is calculated by using the age at banding and the time between captures.  Birds are assumed to have been hatched in June for calculation purposes. More on how ages are calculated here.

Key to Age at Banding: L = Local, or a bird just out of the nest; SY = Second year, or a bird that was born the previous nesting season; AHY = After Hatching Year, or a bird that was born no later than the previous nesting season (perhaps older).

Original dateAge at bandingRecovery dateMinimum
age
*Mourning Dove5 May 1974Unknown30 Sep 19773 y, 4 m
Eastern Screech-Owl23 Oct 1984Unknown20 May 19872 y, 7 m
Downy Woodpecker20 Aug 1998L7 May 20023 y, 11 m
Downy Woodpecker20 Aug 2010HY15 Aug 20133 y, 2 m
Hairy Woodpecker2 Jun 1983AHY22 May 199512 y, 11 m
Red-eyed Vireo29 Aug 2003AHY25 Aug 20097 y, 2 m
*Blue Jay2 Apr 1973AHY1 May 19796 y, 11 m
Black-capped Chickadee12 Aug 1992Unknown25 Oct 19986 y, 4 m
Wood Thrush130 May 1995AHY6 May 20038 y, 11 m
American Robin28 Apr 1998SY26 May 20046 y, 11 m
American Robin28 Oct 2005HY5 Nov 20116 y, 5 m
American Robin21 Aug 2008AHY15 Aug 20136 y, 2 m
Gray Catbird23 Aug 1983AHY10 May 19918 y, 11 m
Gray Catbird15 Jun 1999AHY16 May 20056 y, 11 m
Gray Catbird17 May 2005SY17 Sep 20095 y, 3 m
*American Tree Sparrow1 Dec 1972Unknown22 Nov 19775 y, 5 m
Song Sparrow7 Oct 1992AHY17 Apr 19965 y, 10 m
White-throated Sparrow23 Oct 1998AHY4 Nov 20013 y, 5 m
*Dark-eyed Junco7 Apr 1995AHY29 Mar 19983 y, 9 m
Northern Cardinal13 May 1994AHY9 Feb 20028 y, 8 m
Northern Cardinal5 Oct 1999AHY22 Apr 20088 y, 6 m
Northern Cardinal13 Apr 2003AHY16 Sep 20099 y, 10 m
Northern Cardinal219 Apr 2001SY3 Oct 201212 y, 4 m
Northern Cardinal9 Oct 2001U3 Sep 201312 y, 3 m
Rose-breasted Grosbeak10 May 1993AHY20 May 19974 y, 11 m
Indigo Bunting323 Aug 2003SY29 Sep 20108 y, 3 m
Red-winged Blackbird22 Apr 1998SY14 Apr 20035 y, 10 m
Brown-headed Cowbird20 Jun 1979AHY2 Jun 19835 y
Baltimore Oriole6 Jul 1998SY15 Aug 20003 y, 2 m
*American Goldfinch430 Oct 1997AHY27 May 20047 y, 11 m

A full list of North American longevity records can be found at the Bird Banding Lab’s longevity web site.

Please note: All data is provisional and not to be cited without permission.

Latest update September 2013.

  1. The age of this bird makes it one of the three oldest recorded for North America.
  2. The age of this bird makes it one of the three oldest recorded for North America.
  3. The age of this bird makes it the longevity record for North America.
  4. The age of this bird makes it one of the 6th oldest records for North America.

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