Common Misconceptions to Watch Out For
- All bird species are monogamous. Most songbirds in North America will somewhat secretly mate with multiple birds. DNA paternity testing shows that in many species, 40 percent of the young are the result of extramarital mating.
- Birds pair for life. Splitting up is a regular part of life for almost all birds. Most live with one partner for only a few months or years depending on the species. Annual divorce rates range from 99 percent in the greater flamingo to 0 percent in the wandering albatross.
- All bird species mate during the same month of a year. We typically think of spring as the mating season for birds, however, this period falls over several months with some birds starting as early as January, while others don’t start until the late summer months.