Many bird couples exemplify "till death do us part" by mating for life, and now a new study finds that these pairs will even sacrifice access to food in order to stay close to their loved ones over the winter months.
The determination shows just how valuable stable relationships can be, at least in the bird world.
"The choice to stay close to their partner over accessing food demonstrates how an individual bird's decisions in the short term, which might appear sub-optimal, can actually be shaped around gaining the long-term benefits of maintaining their key relationships," project leader Josh Firth of Oxford University said in a press release.
Impressive Bird Flying Formations: Photos
The study is published in the journal Current Biology.
Firth and his team focused on birds called great tits, but it's suspected that the findings could apply to many species. Geese, swans, cranes and eagles, for example, are primarily monogamous. Lovebirds, which are actually a small species of parrot, mate for life as well, and spend many of their days affectionately doting on their mate.