Wild Bird Longevity

May 15, 2017

While cleaning out wood duck boxes in anticipation of the upcoming nesting season, a biologist of Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge recently found a roosting screech owl in one of the boxes. Small owls are often found in the boxes and are occasionally banded during the encounter.

When this owl was captured, the biologist noticed that it was already banded. He duly noted the band number and released the bird. Upon checking records back at the office, he was surprised to find that the owl had been banded as an adult eight years earlier. This means the bird is now at least ten years old and brings up the question, "How long do birds live in the wild?"