The Avian Love Guide

If you have mating or dating problems, could they be because you’re looking for love in the wrong flock? The Avian Love Guide first popped up on here years ago – this is an updated and extended version of the concept.

Just as birds demonstrate a broad array of romantic and relating styles, so do humans. Could you be the human equivalent of a swan trying to mate with a budgie? Or could you be trying to apply parakeet logic and values to a love interest who is really more of a hawk?

Read on to discover which avian love archetype you and your partners – past, present, potential – most resemble. It may add a deeper – admittedly weirder – dimension to your understanding of your choices or the dynamic.

Additionally, can you see any astrological similarities or resonance?

HAWK: Resolutely solitary birds, hawks are often more attached to their nest than they are to any partner or flock. They perform spectacular aerobatic mating rituals to wow a partner but the next mating season will find them solo or seeking a fresh love interest. They avoid the group dynamic unless there is a distinct advantage, such as when they are migrating. Even then, they will not travel with the same group the following year.

BUDGERIGAR: Commonly known as ‘budgies,’ these birds do not like to be alone and chatter constantly. They often display courtship behaviour – beak touching, cooing, fluffing up their feathers, preening etc – when they are not that interested in mating, as such. Aside from being flirtatious, budgies often flip gender roles – at least as described by orthinologists – and are more likely than most birds to be bisexual.

PINK FLAMINGO: These elegant creatures are monogamous but consensually change partners every year, coming together in an elaborate group ceremony to select a new mate. It seems to involve elements of performance, posing and dance, with the most gracious or agile pairing off. If they didn’t already have their chic pink feathers, you can bet they’d add a fashion component as well.

RAVEN: While ‘affairs’ are not unknown, most ravens are monogamous and mate for life. They’ll fly together for fun and leisure, as well as to patrol their turf and aggressively back their partner in any dispute. Their nests are large and messy but creative – ravens are smart, resourceful and brilliant at acquiring useful components for their nest. If something untoward occurs to their partner, the remaining raven will usually abandon the territory, never to return.

PEACOCK: Appearance-wise, peacocks have the widest divide of the animal world. The male has dazzling coloring and the iconic huge tail, while the lady ‘peahen’ is more muted. Male peacocks are also polyamorous, getting as much mating action as strutting and shaking their tail feathers can secure. They do not help with nest building or looking after the baby peachicks and the peahens often live alone or with other peahens.

SPARROW: These fluffy little brown and silver birds have a surprisingly complex relationship structure. The females prefer multiple partners and their partners go to great lengths to prevent them straying. Unusually, the males acquire a nest by themselves and before mating season – it’s part of their mating strategy. Unmated sparrows live with couples to help with finding food or chick-rearing and if a sparrow loses a partner, they re-partner within seconds.

MAGPIE:  Magpies mate later than other birds and some not at all. The male makes little effort to ‘win’ the female, who builds her own nest and raises offspring herself, but he will vigilantly defend the territory and that in itself is seen as desirable. Male magpies also supply food to any magpie who is nesting with – possibly – his chicks. The mother and female chicks often have a unique bond, with some female magpies staying in the nest indefinitely.

HUMMINGBIRD: Female hummingbirds are fussy and often reluctant to mate – they prefer food to copulation.  Male hummingbirds fight each other and pull off death-defying, dazzling stunts to get laid. After a quick mid-air coupling, they part and never speak again. The female creates a clever, often unique nest (an unusual location or found materials) but it’s flimsy as she doesn’t like to stay in one nest for long. The chicks need to match her speed.

SWAN: Swans mate for life and are not only monogamous, they screech and attack interloper swans. They’re the most outwardly affectionate birds, frequently touching beaks, mirroring one another’s movements and enjoying long mutual eye-gazing. Their courtship is lengthy and often involves extended phases of swimming alongside one another without acknowledging the other swan’s presence. About 14% percent of Swans form same-sex pair-bonds.

WOODPECKER: The male woodpecker uses his titanium-strength beak to make a loud drumming noise instead of a mating call. Both genders are aggressive and their mating ritual is classified as a ‘threat courtship’ – they try to knock one another out of the sky before – possibly – copulating. As female woodpeckers often prefer multiple partners and nests, many of the males ‘share’ her with a brother bird as an incentive to stay.

WREN: Wrens mate for life and put a lot of energy into their nest + chick-rearing but they’re never faithful. The wren that is not in the nest at the time is more likely to be out seeking another mate or in someone else’s nest. Female wrens select the mate with the highest social status, brightest plumage and best nest – he will mark out many prospective spots and if she selects one, they mate. Wrens also like to decorate the nest with flower petals.

CUCKOO: Cuckoos never form mating pairs but try to take over the stable nest of another bird species, replacing their eggs with those of the cuckoo’s. It means they can breed more and without having to parent. Horrifyingly, their eggs mimic the appearance of the ones they’re impersonating and the child cuckoo will destroy whatever is between it and the host parents struggling to feed it. They’re aggressive loners who nonetheless seek multiple partners.

PARROT: Like the Swan, most genres of parrot mate for life and are extremely affectionate – eg: the classic Love Birds. They’re nuzzlers and some of their bonding rituals include holding one another’s claws – like holding hands – and regurgitating food into one another’s beaks. But unlike swans, their courtship rituals are screechy, loud and unsubtle. They’re also creatures of the flock and will opt for the benefit of the crowd – or the pecking order – over their partner.

EAGLE: Eagles are super-loyal and will usually mate for life. Both genders seek nests in high places to wow prospective mates and make it harder for predators or threats to reach them. They’re sexually flamboyant with mating rituals that involve aerobatics, locked talon tail dives, mock death spirals and roller coaster racing one another. Unlike some birds who only live together during mating season, eagles are nest-centric – staying in the same one for years and adding on.

I don’t have time to do more birds but…thoughts?  If the comments below look odd, it’s because they’re from the initial version of this post. It’s reposted and updated by popular request lol!

46 thoughts on “The Avian Love Guide”

  1. As a Leo Sun, Gem Rising, Scorpio Moon you could say Pea Hen, Cuckoo Rising with Eagle Moon. But I would rather you did NOT. I can’t relate to the Pea Hen. I mean excuse me girl, what’s with those feathers? And cuckoos seem to be the descendants of velociraptors or something. I have Venus in Cancer so maybe Swan or Parrot Venus. 🦜 Eagle Moon can stay, but I love the song of the Magpie, it is the sound of home, maybe Leo’s can be Magpies? Hummingbird Rising then. Because so cute.

  2. OMG before I even clicked on the post I said aloud “I’m a depressed hawk” & what do you know?! Hawk Sun (Gemini) – what i am, Swan Venus (Taurus) – my romantic ideals, Raven Moon (Aries) – how I actually behave in relationships.

  3. I think I met a ‘peacock’ once at a five rhythms class. His monochrome silk two piece entirely for show, alongside the “come here often/want me to adjust your chakra” one-liners left a little taste of bile in my mouth. I have always shied away from flashy over-sharers with porous boundaries & never returned to the worst excuse of a dry disco.

    Interesting you didn’t mention ducks Mystic.. males being known to shag their mates to death. I recently saw a collared dove run over outside where I live & gave her gentle burial in the garden, later seeing her mate look for her for several days afterward along the roadside.

    I’m not sure I am in the right head space for bird mating analogy; I could be more thrush.. some fiercely independent loner 😉 but I genuinely love it when your blog goes off-piste, brava ♡

  4. Live between 2 large parks/reserves & have sparrows, kookaburras, magpies, piping shrikes, lorikeets, myna birds (nasty imported piece of works), wattle birds, honey-eaters, blackbirds & doves that visit me, all within 3 kilometres of CBD
    My faves are the humble sparrow. One walks into my kitchen to be fed when the doves are not around.

    1. Did not have time to do them all – the info is from othinology sites and articles – wanted to also do owls, who are very interesting. But feel free to add in your own interps!

  5. I have a mama Raven and her two teenagers hanging out in my yard at the moment. Exploring everything with their beaks, including our baby vege garden, and just learning how to Raven and having beef with the resident Magpies.
    She brings them everyday and I’m glad our yard has been selected as one of her training grounds for Raven school. I also put seeds all around for the crimson rosellas which are the most beautiful birds, bringing also some stroppy cockies and flocks of apparently polyamorous sparrows!

  6. Strange synchronicity Mystic! I’m reading Marie Louise Von Franz’s Individuation in Fairy Tales — I’m obsessed with her after you recommended her Alchemy (for which I’ll be forever grateful). Just read the chapter about how finding “the stone” in alchemy is balancing our spiritual side, often symbolized by a bird, with our instincts, and the split between dogmatized religion and instincts can be represented by an “evil” bird that simply parrots beliefs. It also gets into the amount of fantasy material that is tied to our instincts, how we weave stories about mating and fighting for turf etc. I think this post is wonderful food for thought – each of us DOES have archetypes attached to our specific set of instincts, and we are not one size fits all. I appreciate this!!!

  7. this is too good i hope you elaborate on this sometime !!!!!!!! please

    What if you’re a nutter Raven determined to get a trophy Peacock?

    thats actually been the background of my ‘love life’ for the last year. i’m the raven. [scorp venus, leo descent] that was a typo but its better this way

  8. Aries = Rooster
    Taurus = Heron, Crane — (Patience)
    Gemini = Magpie, Mynah, Hummingbird, Parrot
    Cancer = Loon, Seagull, Hen
    Leo = Peacock, Goldfinch, Cockatoo
    Virgo = Swan
    Libra = Dove, Mandarin Duck
    Scorpio = Dove, Eagle, Phoenix
    Sagittarius = Eagle, Duck (lucky duck), Lark
    Capricorn = Owl, Raven, Penguin
    Aquarius = Goose (loosey goosey)
    Pisces = Kingfisher, Cuckoo

  9. Sorry to have gotten so off topic, esp. because I have always loved birds and should be paying attention more. I used to keep quite a few, at the height I had seven. I don’t see any talk in here about doves. Doves are classic Librans, poised, and without the slightly self-absorbed beauty of the swan. Their cooing is lyrical, and they represent, by archetype, peace.

  10. i like the curlew… mystical, camoflage, crying, sensitive, anxious, community orientated… think it might appeal to my pisces moon… otherwise i resonate with the crow – the shapeshifter, message bearer, majik maker… mmmm

  11. owl definitely fits virgo.
    think of pallas athene – goddess of wisdom and war.

    i had once a birth chart reading done by astrodienst, based on liz greene, they wrote athene would be my archetype. i had never thought about her before and felt a bit irritated. but after years of thinking about it, i agree.

    theowl: wisdom and war. a predator, but symbol for knowledge and supernatural wisdom.

    i really like that. it is quite positive. about virgos there is (except of this blog) not much positive to find…

    and I can feel it, too. observing… observing… decide to hunt… win.
    strategy born of observing the enemy. like chess.

    btw – the bird-metaphors are great!
    mystic you are an instinctive genius!

    this is what i love about pisces. to the point. if they are sober (lol).

  12. Maybe we go through different phases depending on who we are with and what transits we are having.

    I’m suddenly a swan, whereas a while ago I was all the other birds. I could happily live swanlike now for the rest of my life.

    If I was just casually dating some douchebag for the fun of it, why would I want to be swanlike. I’d be playing the aviary.

    Swan begets swan.

  13. Funny this is on the agenda, Today I heard a song on the radio. It was called hummingbird. The guy singing tells the chick(the hummingbird )to give him a wide berth. because she won’t stay anyway. I laughed when one of the bloggers called a Sagg the hummingbird. My ex -sagg was just that. Bit of a slut he was,..really. They don’t change.

  14. Uranian&Plutonic Virgo

    All this bird talk reminded me that within the last week I heard kookaburras talking amongst themselves at just after midnight, and about 2.30AM. I giggled in bed coz they were so loud, and also coz they sounded lovely. 🙂
    I’m lucky to be able to spot native birds around my area – lorrikeets, kookaburras (once saw a baby on the ground, just fell off nest, was about to help but it did ok by itself going back up), native mynahs, even the odd sulphur-crested cockatoos, considering it’s only about 10-12kms from CBD.
    There’s a nest in my lil yard that the rock turtle doves keep using year after year.

    1. I had the great joy of watching some lorikeets torment some other parrot around some trees in Gertrude st in fitzroy the other day, okay not the tormenting bit, but I don’t see parrots as much as I used to in brissie (less umbrella trees of course). I often see galahs in my local park, completely unperturbed by the shopping centre right next door. Kookaburras are defn my fave though. Hard to be grumpy when being laughed at by a kookaburra.

      1. Uranian&Plutonic Virgo

        Kookas are the bomb, that is so true, shell!
        I’d be trying to sleep, but then giggle, then burst out laughing with them! I don’t know why these ones decided that after midnight was their hanging out time lately, usually it’s much earlier in the day when you can hear em.
        Forgot to mention galahs earlier too.
        I think my sis and I would count as kookas when we hang out; all quiet, then all of a sudden loud cackles with fluffed up feathers. 😀

    2. In my old suburb they had done a restoration of native trees way back in the early to mid 90s all along the creek and parks (many parks) so even though 3-4 km from CBD – there is much wildlife and especially native birds. Plus ppl have become more aware of the benefits of planting natives in their gardens so not like little britain type gardens around.

  15. I could go the Aquarian – satin bower bird thing. The males have such beautiful blue eyes, and they are incredibly fussy about which shade of blue they want for their bowers. I recently tried to help out one that had set up a bower in the front garden. Y’know, give him a boost with the laydeez. I put out a plate with bits and bobs of blue things, and he rejected half of them that werent the right shade of electric blue.
    Kookaburras do hang out in family groups, and (I think) there is usually only one breeding pair, but the full grown aunties and uncles hang around to raise the babies and contribute to the group. I like that they tend to look kind of scruffy, when all the other birds manage to look sleek, but whats up with never having your own babies or partner and living at home forever?
    Curlews have attitude, they arent afraid of anything and have those amazing, huge tawny eyes. When they make an appearance during the day, all the day birds freak the fuq out at Mr. Night Predator, blinking at them. And we all know what they sound like when they’re getting their freak on at night.
    Lorikeets are high maintenance, they’re nectar / fruit feeders and so tend to burn through life on a mad sugar rush. They’re the speed-taking trash of the bird world, and Ive heard someone liken them to bikers before. Ive also seen lorikeets feeding on fermenting fruit until they are so pissed they fall out of the tree.
    Sulphur crested cockatoos are ridiculously loud and destructive, they have attitude, and if they feel like destroying your house, they will, and not feel bad about it. In fact, they’ll bring in some mates to help out, and look amused by your ire. Black cockatoos are sweeter and quieter than their white cousins, more reflective, and much less likely to trash your house when partying.
    Fig parrots have small-man syndrome. Little bunch of hard arse napoleans if you ask me, they look so cute, but then try and take your finger off at a moments provocation.
    Parrots will often have wierd pair bonds that defy species and sex. At the bird park I used to work at, we had a major mitchell cross that fell in love with a short beaked corella. They were both males, and became an inseperable couple. I also knew a male alexandrian parrot that just loved male humans.
    Ducks are rakish, love a party and will shag anything.

  16. goldfleece-risingfish-twinmoon

    Ohh i love this one ! we are bird people…

    Kookaburras (Katakans?) hang out in their families, and are territorial, i’ve watched nasty fights between a ‘vistor” landing on their turf . They are also bossy (hmm Aries rising?) , and land on our outer kitchen window and tap on the glass, they also land where the wall exhaust fan is over the stove and look in. (we buy mince for them .. i know i know….but..)
    Aussie Magpies are quite relaxed and don’t mind waltzing into the kitchen with a ‘what up bro?’ look pasted on their face, they also hang out with their young for ages…(Taurean? not sure)
    Raibow lorikeets are good parents and i feel sorry for them – the babies go on and on and on crying for food forever…i didnt pick it up till i had babies..and thought ”those poor parents” and then feed bits of apple/bread with a little honey and milk etc just so the kid will shut the f*q up…
    Eastern rosellas are peaceful and shy .. and easily firghtened.
    This morning we had a male and female king parrot waiting for some seed on the front porch, she is more elusive than him … when i walked past her this morning i though ‘she’s scorp’ just because she’s beautiful and darker and darker eyes and has a dont mess with me kinda look in her eye. but i don thtink he is – maybe he’s a .. not sure..but he has a sweet look .. and that yellow ring round his eye make him look more approachable (female has blak ring round eye and black eye)…
    We also have galahs.. and cockies, and once a year visits from the female bower bird (beauiful – Aquarian maybe ?) and we usually bury a bird about a month – they seem to come here to die .. which i htough was creepy at first, but now we can sort of sense or see whose not well, and make sure they have water,apple a little seed nearby (but possums come here too..maybe only bury one of those every 6 months ..
    also!! powerful owl .. which husband saw flying down, with tallons (?) outreached and picked him up on other side of road..he was massive .. i thought Sagg ? or Bull maybe … can hear him /her at night … feel safe when i do.
    must go – sorry for the ramble – havent really spoken out loud to many people today …. tootle pips

    1. Good ramble goldfleece:)
      Cockatoos seem to be the carefree nutters of the bird world here. Every evening just before dark a huge flock of sulphur crested cockatoos hang out on the street outside my place and are hilarious – squawking and bickering – swinging and dangling upside down on the overhead powerlines. I think they are taunting my little terriers who go beserk barking at them through the fence.

      1. The cockatoos around here drive me nuts every evening around sunset – house next to waterway in a valley and they scream along the waterway screaching for about an hour. You here them all around – totally bats but they are talking to each other. Love to understand what they are going on about. Or maybe they are having fun annoying the humans…

    2. I love the random visits from Kookaburras and Butcher birds (better name appreciated anyone). They kinda look you in the eye like they are looking into your soul, makes me feel special that they get so close and trust me. I feed them meat occasionally so they don’t get dependent and love how the butcher birds bring their fledglings to visit when they trust you and sing for you. In my previous home I am certain that I was revisited by grown up fledglings and their offspring over a few generations – lovely 🙂 There is definitely a level of communication going on with these creatures and humans.

      1. Equilibrium Girl (nee Stress Princess)

        Aww, gorgeous attitude, fluidcat. I too believe in the connection. I always befriend (and name, yeah I know, sooky pathetic but I love it) my wild bird buddies.

        My Butchers come back generation after generation. My maggies too. It’s so sad when you lose one of them – they just stop coming and you know that they’ve died somewhere. Breaks my heart. I call and call but they’ve gone for good. But then you make new friends, usually with the offspring and it’s brilliant.

        Can’t handle non-bird-lovers, ppl who hack down trees because they’re sick of the wildlife/ noise/ poo/ general flying things. Move into a concrete apartment block then, a-holes. Give me more trees and birds anyday. I can’t get angry at the noise – they have to live with our roads and houses and powerlines, etc.

        Gawd I’m turning into a bloody hippy as I get older. My Sat return really made me be honest with myself (and unapologetic) about my love for nature and now I couldn’t give a toss if ppl think I’m crazy to chat to the wildlife. There’s mutual trust thing going on (which is more than what I feel with most humans.) Come nesting season, the maggies divebomb most other folk but not me. Heh heh. We’re all on the earth together so why not be friends?

        1. Nah you’re not turning into a hippy EG – green is good. The ppl who bought my house removed every single tree from the property (including the massive 80+ year old Jacaranda). The kids and I had a little cry when we saw it a few days after settlement. Apparently the treeloppers went in 7 am morning after settlement and worked all day. I don’t even think it is legal. Now our gorgeous old colonial sits on a sterile double block which has been turfed and landscaped with a few lilly pilly hedges. Blah 😡 The best part of living there was the feeling of living in the trees and the privacy and cool the trees provided, not to mention our local native wildlife friends – possums, birds, who provided many hours of company and entertainment. Bad karma to them i think.

      2. Thanks for that link goldfleece. But eeww to their hanging their prey thing.

        No black cockatoos here (foothills of Mt Coot-tha) that i’ve seen. But at Peregian Beach on Sunshine Coast have seen the gorgeous creatures. PB is btw a bird paradise and has large areas of national park all around including along the beachfront and and most streets are named after local native birds.

  17. LOL I was thinking of doing a dating guide based on my own experiences as I have covered nearly ever star sign.. until I got to Aries and feared being headbutted.. ha ha ha..

  18. Equilibrium Girl (nee Stress Princess)

    My birds observations:

    My hens have always looked upon other mating creatures with disdain. They seem to turn their noses (beaks) up as if the humping parrots/ turtle doves/ ducks are just too vulgar for words.

    My ducks are lesbians. They love to eat, splash, chase each other about then one climbs on the other’s back and they make lots of orgasmic duck noises. Then they swap.

    My lorikeet is like a budgie – he’ll shag anything. He has a green fluffy thing that he sleeps with in his cage – and he now “sleeps” with it anytime day or night. He sees a parrot, he starts shagging his green fluffy thing. He sees me bringing him new native flowers to eat, he starts shagging…

    My wild parrots who I feed love to strut, bounce around, breathe heavily (in a birdy way – it’s very cute) and shag anywhere. They don’t care who’s watching. In fact, if I’m watching, they tend to go for it more. Ewww.

    And here I am, a single chick with no boy of my own to shag. I feel like I’m becoming a disdainful hen… But Venus in Scorp has just entered (ha!) my 1st house so should I be expecting this to change??

  19. Peacocks can’t be Leos – we like sex too much and don’t have it reluctantly .. but we are definitely up for a walk down the boardwalk 🙂

  20. And the Australian bowerbird – the male of the species builds a nest on the rainforest floor and attracts (multiple) female partners by placing only blue objects around its nest.

    I heard a wonderful example of this at O’Reilly’s rainforest in Queensland, where apparently one very smart bowerbird expedited the whole process by simply building his nest by the hotel’s large blue rubbish dumpster and the female birds were lining up in droves!

    The bird prided himself on placing his nest on the right angle in relation to the bin and after the bin was emptied by the truck on a weekly basis, the angle of the bin changed. The bird then shifted his nest accordingly so that it would perfectly maintain its angle with the bin. Just priceless!

    1. Was thinking bowerbirds would deserve a spot on the list saturnian. 🙂 Males build a colourful bower on the ground just to attract females – it’s the satin bowerbird who must have blue stuff for his bower. Different bowerbirds have their own special colour they go nuts for – I know there’s a golden one who must have yellows for theirs.

      The funny thing is that they go marauding and wreck other bowers, pinching all the bits & bobs for themselves. The males end up in a frenzy trying to protect their bower, wrecking and poaching from others, and still finding time to do the strut for the chicks! There has to be an astrological connection with some sign there – but I’m just not savvy enough to make it!

      After the female has shopped around and picks her ideal mate, the deed is done and she takes off and build the real nest in a tree somewhere.

      Nature lecture over … went through a bit of an avid backyard birdwatching phase many moons ago 🙂

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