List of birds that mate for life

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list of birds that mate for life

Mating Quotes (37 quotes)

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Published 02.06.2019

reunion of albatross

13 Monogamous Animals That Mate For Life

Do birds mate for life? This is one of the most popular birding questions, and one of the most persistent birding urban legends. Birds do not form emotional relationships like humans do, and their principle drive for forming a pair pond is to produce offspring rather than for any emotional fulfillment. For all birds, the odds of producing surviving offspring are best with a strong, healthy mate, which is why birds have different courtship rituals to find the most suitable partner. Once they have found that partner, birds will copulate , seeking to produce eggs. That mating may or may not lead to a longer attachment between two birds.

Winter will soon be over and birds are starting to gear up for the breeding season. Look out for early nesters flying around with bits of nest-building materials in their beaks too. Some bird species form a lifelong bond and only look for a new partner after one of them dies. Most types of swan and goose mate for life and so does the osprey and the barn owl. In fact, barn owl pairs are especially affectionate, preening each other, rubbing their cheeks together and cuddling up in the nest. It sounds romantic, but most birds stick together for practical reasons rather than because of undying love. That means they have one mate at a time.

Black Vulture

I often hear that birds mate for life. Yes, some birds like waterfowl and seabirds and eagles tend to have long term pair bonds and they may actually stay together for life. There are a number of circumstances when one of the mates die or just drifts off, like a divorce, and each of the pair has to find another mate. The behavior varies a lot in the bird world. Do they mate for life? The answer is probably maybe sometimes.


  1. Germaine D. says:

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  2. Jerry R. says:

    A discussion of whether birds mate for life has to begin by having an understanding of what we mean by the term "mating for life".

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