WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The term “lovebird” has a new meaning.

A recent study reveals that birds can fall in love.

According to Nature World Report, Malika Ihle and her team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany found that birds that ended up choosing their own mates had 37 percent more offspring than those that were paired up.

The researchers used 160 zebra finches for the study, allowing 20 females to choose freely among 20 males. After the birds paired off, half were left alone while the other have were broken up and paired with other “broken up” birds.

They found that birds that paired up on their own had higher reproduction rates than the ones paired up by researchers. The study also revealed that the birds who chose their own mates had a better chick mortality rate.

“The percentage of eggs that contained a dead embryo was equal between chosen and assigned pairs. In contrast, the percentage of nestlings that died before reaching independence was twice as high if chicks were raised by assigned pairs,” Ihle said in the study, according to News Every Day. “If a chick hatched in such a nest, it only had a 50 percent chance of surviving.”

The findings were published in PLoS Biology.

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