Lessons in Love from Nature

Wildlife have a thing or two to teach us about romance! 

Crimson male cardinals are not only perpetually suited up in the color of passion, but they are also on to what really warms the heart of their beloved: food and gifts! Cardinals, which pair up for life, engage in ʺmate feedingʺ as part of their quest for (and maintenance of) a companion.


Dancing cheek to cheek is a bobcat-endorsed love strategy--they rub their faces on potential mates (as well as offspring) to signal "be mine!"


Studies show that hugging increases bonding for people—and maybe also for bears? Black bears “hug” each other as cubs when playing, and when adults as part of the courtship ritual.


Leave the kids at home for your romantic date. Take it from paired-for-life osprey parents who let chicks rest in the nest while they fly off to hunt—the noisy calls, fishy demands, and spontaneous wing-spreading of your cute, but ungainly, offspring does nothing to enhance the mood.


Go easy on the perfume. Even skunks reserve special cologne for emergencies.


Red fox pairs are lifelong partners, and even when mating season is over they meet to socialize and share food. Because no matter how long you've been together, making time for a one-on-one dinner is always a good way to reconnect.


There is a reason that horseshoe crabs have been around for 300 million years. They know the value of a moonlit stroll on the beach!


Wisdom from woodcocks: a little effort goes a long way when it comes to impressing a mate. Males of this species are true winged wooers, staging an elaborate show of singing, aerial acrobatics and feather ruffling in pursuit of their love interest.


Good grooming habits are essential for making the right impression. River otters are fastidious about their coats, maintaining their natty appearance by rolling in snow, mud or vegetation.


Traveling compatibility makes a relationship stronger. Case in point, snow geese, which migrate more than 3,000 miles together each year and mate for life.


Working hard and saving for the future is always attractive, but gray squirrels also know the most important rule for interpersonal success: Relax and be yourself.

Woodchucks can attest that flowers are appropriate for every romantic occasion, and some of them are tasty, too!



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