While some bird species are monogamous for life, others are seasonally so or just appear to be monogamous.
“A pair bond may last for just one nesting, such as with house wrens; one breeding season, common with most songbird species; several seasons, or life,” an article in Bird Watcher's Digest explained.
What is more common for songbirds, the article states, is social monogamy. A male bird will defend his nest and territory and feed his family and sometimes help incubate eggs.
“But genetic testing of songbird nestlings, even in socially monogamous species, shows that the father who sired them isn’t necessarily the one who is helping to rear them,” Bird Watcher’s Digest explained. “In other words, a socially monogamous female songbird sometimes ‘cheats’ on the male with whom she has a bond. And her socially monogamous mate may have fathered eggs in other nests.”
(Lead image by Chad Merda)
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