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Bernd Heinrich, a renowned naturalist and emeritus professor of biology at the University of Vermont, argues in his eye-opening new book, The Nesting Season: Cuckoos, Cuckolds, and the Invention of Monogamy, there's little reason to suspect birds don't fall in love just like we do. Love, Heinrich writes, is an adaptive feeling that many animals share, one that causes them to act irrationally for the sake of reproduction. He suggests monogamy among birds evolved in a similar way, as a sexual strategy for rearing young in demanding environments. Drawing heavily on personal observations and evolutionary biology, Heinrich... sheds light on a wide array of subjects, from the prevalence of lesbian albatross in Hawaii to the peculiar dynamics of bird sex. And though he admits birds may love one another, we shouldn't necessarily look to them for ideal "family values." Australian malleefowl, he writes, bury their children in mounds of rotting vegetation and leave them for dead.
— Jed Lipinski