Valentine’s Day is only a couple weeks away and many people will be proposing marriages or beginning long-term relationships on that day. Humans aren't the only ones that think about love and long-term relationships this time of year. Many birds do, as well as about 90% of all bird species are monogamous (in some way) during the breeding season, if not longer. Several species that reside here in San Diego and elsewhere do form long-term pair bonds that mostly last for the life of at least one of the pair. Like people, these monogamous relationships aren't perfect and there are some cases of infidelity or “break-ups”, but most stay together for years.
Birds, and other animals are monogamous because it gives them an advantage raising young quickly and providing more protection. Birds who are monogamous spend less time fighting for mates and territory and more time raising young. It may also mean more care and protection for the young with one parent being always on or near the nest at all time.
Click on the photos for 5 species, common in San Diego, that stay with their mate for most, if not all, of their lives.