Which birds mate for life?
Many birds form long-term pair bonds that may last a lifetime,
or only several years. No species is known to always mate for life;
studies show that most monogamous species are more like humans, in
that some pairings last only a short time, some for years, and a
few for a lifetime.
Birds known to form long-term pair bonds that may last a
lifetime include swans, geese, most hawks, eagles and falcons, most
parrots, albatrosses, ravens, pigeons and doves, and more. Birds as
a class contain more monogamous species than not, though some
species switch mates more often than others. Most migratory
songbirds find a new mate every year. Relatively few bird species
are polygamous (males mate with many females), and just a few are
polyandrous (females mate with many males).
Also like humans, though, even pair-bonded birds are known
through genetic testing to occasionally "cheat" on their