What Birds Mate for Life?


Quick Answer

Birds that mate for life include the bald eagle, California condor, Atlantic puffin, black vulture and the whooping crane. Other birds include the mute swan, scarlet macaw and Laysan albatross.

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Full Answer

Bald eagles not only mate for life, but also have a very distinct courtship period where they mating pair perform a series of aerial maneuvers. In the cartwheel display, the two birds lock together and spiral toward the ground. Once bald eagles mate, the female lays up to three eggs.

The California condor is another bird that mates for life. Once the condor becomes sexually mature at 6 years of age, it undergoes a courtship ritual with another condor. Much like the bald eagle, the condor also does aerial displays during which the mating pair pick out a nesting site.

The Atlantic puffin chooses a mate once it reaches between 3 and 6 years of age. Once the mating pair breeds, both the male and the female take turns sitting on the eggs and raising the chicks. The puffins return each year to the same nest.

When black vultures mate, they stay together through the entire year. Although these birds lay eggs, they do not build nests. Instead, they place their eggs in crevices and cavities.

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