This was supposed to be a cute little story about wildlife that mates for life.
But as often happens when you ask a Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist a question, you don’t get the answer you expect. We did get a list of critters with “high mate fidelity,” as a biologist would say, including whooping cranes, coyotes and osprey. But, there are exceptions.
“Osprey will frequently mate with the same individual until one dies, but it’s probably more associated with dedication to hunting territory and nest site than the mate itself.”
Not quite the Valentine’s story we had in mind.
“We see almost every aspect of human reproduction in wildlife populations, and it’s not very romantic,” the biologist continued. “Promiscuity, simultaneous mates, long courtship, short courtship, no courtship, and divorce. Barn owls are known for a surprisingly low number of non-paired mating (cheating), but can abandon a mate if the pair fails to produce young (divorce).”
The complexity of nature is always a surprise.
Watch this month’s Take:30 with Nature and enjoy a rare view of the majestic whooping crane. That’s something anyone could love!