The Great Journey in Photography

Big Birds Live Longer

Sandhill Crane at Bosque Del Apache

700mm f7.1 200iso 1/400sec

Thank God I am not yet of the age when people I know start dying off, the thought of attending funerals on a regular basis makes me sad. I am however old enough to start thinking about the mortality of all things and I wonder just how long birds actually live. From what I know as common knowledge it seems to me that large birds tend to live longer than small ones and that sounds out of line with most other members of the animal kingdom. I remember years ago the large Blackbird population was completely wiped out in Southern California by the West Nile Virus. There were large numbers of these birds and in the course of several months they were all gone. Not bad I must say, quiet and smaller birds flourished. We were instructed to save the dead and pass them on to the proper authorities but by the time I encountered my first body the die off was so fast and hard that the local government was overwhelmed. I was told to just throw them in the trash. It has been a few generations of the Black birds growing in population and now they are almost back to their original numbers. Perhaps all this attention is the reason for such a finite average life span of these birds of 3.4 years. Actually the can live up to 20. Blue Jays about 7. Humming birds 6-8 and Brown Pelicans come in at 25. Of course the bald eagle, which I have written about numerous times in the past year, about 30, with a captive record of 42, I believe. A regular old sparrow is 3 years and today’s picture sake the Sandhill Crane is over 20.

Hardly scientific, it appears that big birds live longer. I would like to be a big bird too.


One response

  1. Beautiful sharp shot… 🙂

    May 23, 2014 at 7:12 am

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