Top 7 Small Birds with Short Lifespans

7 Min Read

Small birds are a vital part of our ecosystem. They help to pollinate flowers, disperse seeds, and control insect populations. However, many small birds have short lifespans.

In this blog post, we will discuss the factors that contribute to the short lifespan of small birds and what you can do to help protect them.

Factors That Contribute to Short Lifespans

There are several factors that contribute to the short lifespan of small birds. These factors include:

  • Predation: Small birds are easy prey for predators, such as hawks, owls, and snakes.
  • Habitat loss: Small birds are often found in habitats that are under threat from development, deforestation, and climate change.
  • Pollution: Small birds are also susceptible to the effects of pollution, which can weaken their immune systems and make them more susceptible to disease.

Small Birds with Short Lifespans

Seven small birds with short lifespans include the ruby-throated hummingbird, house finch, zebra finch, budgerigar, button quail, canary, and guineafowl. They typically live 3-5 years in the wild.

  • Ruby-throated hummingbird
  • House finch
  • Zebra finch
  • Budgerigar
  • Button quail
  • Canary
  • Guineafowl

Let’s introduce you to the 7 small birds with short lifespans and explore their habitat, lifespans, size, diet, behaviour, etc.

Related: Small Birds with Long Lifespans

1. Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Image: Hummingbirds

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are small birds with vibrant colours and fast wings. They are about 3 to 3.5 inches long and weigh very little. 

These birds live in eastern North America .forests, gardens, and parks. They drink nectar from bright flowers and also eat small insects.

Hummingbirds can fly well, hovering and even flying backwards. They have a short lifespan of about 3 to 5 years.

Male hummingbirds have shiny green feathers and a red throat patch. Females have duller feathers.

They make small nests and lay two tiny white eggs. After about three weeks, the baby birds leave the nest.

In winter, they fly to Central America or Mexico, and in spring, they come back.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are not in danger of extinction, but they face problems like losing their homes and climate change.

Related: Small Birds with Long Legs

2. House Finch

House Finch
image: House Finch

House finches are small birds with colourful feathers and cheerful songs. They live in North America, in places like gardens and woodlands.

They eat seeds, fruits, and insects. The males have reddish or orange feathers, while the females have more muted colours.

House finches build nests and lay pale blue eggs. Both parents take care of the chicks.

They live for about 2 to 3 years. House finches are not migratory and can adapt to different environments.

They are common and not in danger of extinction.

Related: Small Birds with Long Wings

3. Zebra Finch

Zebra finch
Image: Zebra finch

 Zebra finches are small birds known for their striped plumage. They have short lifespans, usually 3-5 years.

Native to Australia, they’re popular pets due to their delightful songs.

Adaptable and found in grasslands, they eat seeds and insects. Males have orange cheek patches, females are more subdued.

They build nests and lay several eggs. Charming and cheerful, zebra finches bring joy with their chirping.

Related: Small Birds with Long Tails

4. Budgerigar

Green Budgerigar
image: Green Budgerigar

Budgerigars, or budgies, are small birds with short lifespans (5-10 years).

Native to Australia, they’re beloved pets worldwide for their playful and sociable nature.

Vibrant in colour, they can mimic human speech. They eat seeds and love flying and exploring.

Intelligent and energetic, they can be trained to perform tricks. Budgerigars bring liveliness to any home.

Related: Small Birds with Wide Chests

5. Button Quail

Button quail

Button quails are small ground-dwelling birds with short lifespans (2-3 years). Found worldwide, they’re cute and tiny.

Often kept as pets, they have intricate feather patterns. They eat seeds, insects, and vegetation.

Shy, they hide in dense vegetation. Males puff up chests and emit soft calls in courtship. Fascinating and endearing.

Related: Small Birds with Big Heads

6. Canary

Image: Canary

Canaries are small songbirds with short lifespans (5-10 years). From the Canary Islands, they’re popular pets for their melodic songs.

Colourful, they eat seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Males have vibrant plumage and sing intricate songs. Females are more subdued. Canaries bring joy with their music.

7. Guineafowl

Image: Guineafowl

Guineafowl are small birds with short lifespans (5-8 years). Native to Africa, they have distinctive feather patterns.

Social and loud, they forage for insects, seeds, and small animals in grasslands and woodlands. Alert and swift runners, they add character to their habitat.

How to Help Protect Small Birds

There are several things you can do to help protect small birds. These things include:

  • Create a bird-friendly garden: Plant native plants that provide food and shelter for birds.
  • Avoid using pesticides and herbicides: These chemicals can harm birds and other wildlife.
  • Dispose of trash properly: Trash can attract pests and predators that can harm birds.
  • Support organizations that are working to protect birds: There are several organizations that are working to protect birds. You can support these organizations by donating money or volunteering your time.


Small birds play an important role in our ecosystem, but many of them have short lifespans. There are a number of factors that contribute to this, including predation, habitat loss, and pollution. We can help protect small birds by creating bird-friendly gardens, avoiding pesticides and herbicides, disposing of trash properly, and supporting organizations that are working to protect birds.

Here are some additional tips for helping to protect small birds:

  • Put up, bird feeders.
  • Build a birdhouse.
  • Water your plants.
  • Be patient.

By taking these steps, we can help ensure that small birds continue to thrive.

Share This Article