10 animals that you didn’t know mated for life

We often get the question, "Do ospreys mate for life?"

The answer isn't quite clear. In general, yes, they do. However, they aren't above choosing a new mate if theirs is not longer able to reproduce or is sick or injured. Like humans are considered monogamous but sometimes change partners, osprey do the same thing. In fact, even the most "monogamous" animals aren't above changing mates for one reason or another, even though some will stay faithful their entire lives.

But here are 10 animals that are known to mate for life... at least most of the time.

Photo of a sandhill craneopens IMAGE file

Sandhill Crane

Known for their breeding dances, sandhill cranes are beautifully monogamous birds.

Photo of a prairie voleopens IMAGE file

Prairie Vole

With a lifespan of only one-two years, pairs work as a team to build a nest, groom each other and raise their young.

Photo of a gray wolfopens IMAGE file

Gray Wolf

The alpha male and female are the pack's leaders and monogamously mate once per year.

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Osprey families separate for the winter, and males and females will reunite back at their nesting site each spring. The female mainly cares for the young, and the male will care for the female.

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Like our trumpeter swans in Kenue Park, swans are known as a symbol of love and tend to mate for life.

Photo of a bald eagleopens IMAGE file

Bald eagle

Bald eagles also separate for the winter season and meet the same partner during breeding season.

Photo of a coyote in snowy grassopens IMAGE file


A study released in 2012 found that urban coyotes are extremely loyal to their mates and may never stray.

Photo of a barn owlopens IMAGE file

Photo by Steven Ward

Barn owl

Some scientists say up to 90 percent of birds are socially monogamous, but barn owls are known to be even more strident about staying with the same partner.

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Photo by Makedocreative


Beavers not only breed but co-parent their young and stay by one another's side until one dies.

Photo of termites coming from a holeopens IMAGE file


We'll end on an odd one. Several species of termites actually mate for life. One queen bonds with one king, and they give birth to their entire kingdom.


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  1. Nthabeleng on February 28, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    Wow! That is interesting. The list is not complete though. My name is not on the list

    • Karen L Stabler on February 24, 2020 at 5:05 pm

      XD same wow!

  2. Maureen Reeves Horsley on January 31, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Too bad human animals aren’t on the listsome of us do, tho