Banded for Life

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and we are celebrating with some different species of birds that not only mate for life, but that researchers and conservationist have banded with NB&T bird bands for life.

Bald Eagles are monogamous birds that generally mate for life unless a pair is unable to produce eggs, and if one partner dies, the remaining partner will seek out a new mate. During courtship, these raptors have various flight displays including a fantastic cartwheeling fall where the pair locks talons in midair.

Barn Owls are solitary creatures until they find and pair off with a mate. They mate for life and become very emotionally attached to their partner. Barn Owls can often be seen cuddling with their partner and babies in their nest.

Geese are very loyal birds who will mate for life and are very protective of their partners and offspring. When a goose’s mate dies, that bird will mourn in seclusion. Some geese spend the rest of their lives as widows or widowers, refusing to mate again.

Laysan Albatrosses return to the colony three years after fledging, but do not mate for the first time until seven or eight years old. During these four or five years, they form bonds with a mate that they will keep for life.

Ravens mate for life and live in pairs in a fixed territory. When their children reach adolescence, they leave home and join other adolescences. These flocks of young birds live and eat together until they mate and pair-off.

Sandhill Cranes mate for life and when they form a pair, the bond can last for years, until one of the cranes dies. After a mate passes away, the surviving crane will seek out a new mate.

Swans mate for life, although “divorce” sometimes occurs, particularly following nesting failure, and if a mate dies, the remaining swan will take up with another.

Learn about more birds who mate for life here.

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