A large percentage of birds are monogamous-90% to be exact. Given this figure, it’s easy to assume that birds are romantic by nature and share the same human need for companionship and coupling. The truth is that monogamy might just make more sense, given factors such as time and energy that have to be invested in search of a new mate. The convenience of having a sole partner would ensure that reproduction is a smooth process.
Despite the “monogamy” tag associated with many birds, very few actually mate for a long time. Long enough to be considered a lifetime anyway. This list looks at birds that pair through numerous nesting seasons.
1. Mute Swan
The mute swan has been a symbol of romance for quite some time, thanks to its pure beauty and the fact that mates to a large extend stick together until the demise of one partner. This highly territorial bird pairs up to build a nest in shallow waters, incubate the eggs and raise their young ones together until they are able to fly.
2. Bald eagle
USA’s national bird pairs for life although it will look for another mate following the death of a partner or failure to reproduce despite numerous attempts. Bald eagles' courtship rituals are quite the performance, involving locking of talons, swooping, cart-wheeling and free falling until near the ground. Both parents shoulder the responsibilities of incubating their breed and looking after the young ones until their first flight.
3. Atlantic puffin
Once they are three to six years of age, Atlantic puffins look for a mate to pair with for the remainder of their lives. Like the other birds on this list, both parents play a key role in incubating the eggs and raising the hatchlings. Each year, after being away from each other during the winter, the pair unites again and return to the same nest and prepare it for yet another breeding season.
4. Barn Owl
After the female is ready to breed usually at ten to eleven months, they will enter into a monogamous pairing with their male counterparts and are known to mate for life. While they may be apart after the breeding season, just like the Atlantic puffin, they rekindle their companionship and go back to the same nest when breeding beckons.
5. Scarlet Macaw
These colorful tropical birds spend their lives together once a pairing bond is formed. The female incubates two or three eggs for five weeks following which the chicks are looked after by their parents until when they vacate the nest a year and a half after hatching.
6. California condor
The largest land bird in North America starts the search for a mate after the age of six. This entails a display that sees the male puff out the feathers of its neck as its head turns red. Next, the male spreads his wings and proceeds to slowly approach the female. She approves of the male by lowering her head and thus beginning a lifelong mating journey.