Large, social, vegetarian, island-dwelling birds live longer than other birds, reports a new Cornell study that examined the relationships between evolution and life spans in birds.
Some of the longest-living birds include flamingos, parrots, petrels and shearwaters, all of which can live 30 years and more, while many perching birds, grebes and woodpeckers have the shortest life spans of under 10 years, the researchers found.
So, what is it about island dwelling, body size, diet, and behavior that allows a longer life span?
. . . bigger birds have fewer predators; herbivorous birds avoid risks that carnivorous birds may face, such as getting hurt or picking up parasites and pathogens when attacking prey, and compared to carnivores, may find food more readily available; social species can mob and warn of predators, and may find safety or may hide in numbers; and island breeders face fewer predators, pathogens and parasites.
For more: read the press release, or the abstract and full text (note: abstract free, full text requires a subscription).
Meanwhile, I'm going to contemplate a move to the Caribbean.