Animals don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but when it comes to love, attraction and finding a partner, we humans can learn a lot from our furry, scaled and winged companions. So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ll look at the mating habits of four West Virginia animals and hopefully learn a few things about how we can be better lovers.



Woodcocks are shy and quiet woodland birds with small, stocky bodies and camouflaged feathers. They keep a low profile during the day, blending into bushes and thickets, and come out at night to search for ground-dwelling insects with their long, skinny bills.

They might be timid, but these birds get cocky when it’s time to attract a mate. In the spring, male woodcocks strut around to get a mate’s attention and perform elaborate “sky dances” where they fly up into the air and sing as they drop back to the ground.

So, what can woodcocks teach us about love?

Be confident. You can’t find love if you don’t put yourself out there. And stay optimistic if you don’t get a response right away. Woodcocks keep at it and wait for the right mate to respond. You should too because love is always worth the wait.

tiger trout

Tiger Trout

Tiger trout are quite unique. This striped fish is a cross between a female brown trout and male brook trout. Brown and brook trout belong to separate genera and don’t have the same number of chromosomes, making it incredibly rare for these two fish to breed in the wild and produce offspring that survives. And yet, tiger trout are a thing.

Tiger trout are sterile and most reliably bred in hatcheries by fertilizing brown trout eggs with brook trout milt and heat shocking, which significantly increases their survival. And tiger trout are fighters. They’re also known for challenging anglers who are lucky enough to find a tiger trout on the end of their line.

What can tiger trout teach us about love?

If two people are meant to be together, love will find a way. You may feel like the world or society is trying to keep you and your significant other apart, but you can have a happy ending. If brown and brook trout can beat the odds, so can you.

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Bald Eagle

First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes…a huge nest at the top of a tree. These majestic creatures of the sky usually mate for life and are some of the most loyal lovers in the animal kingdom.

After mating, a female bald eagle will lay eggs and both parents take turns hunting, incubating the eggs, guarding the nest and feeding the eaglets once they hatch. As eagles mate over the following years, the parents continue building out their nest to accommodate their growing family.

What can bald eagles teach us about love?

Work together. Relationships require teamwork and a home is built on love. Bald eagles are a great example of what commitment looks like and can serve as inspiration for couples, even during the most difficult times in their relationship.


Whitetail Deer

Ever hear someone say they’re “stuck in a rut?” This phrase refers to a boring, monotonous routine or something that feels worn down or stuck. You definitely don’t want to hear your significant other say that about your relationship.

Rut has a different meaning when it comes to animals though. This term refers to the peak breeding season for whitetail deer. During the rut, bucks use their antlers to mark territory and spar with other bucks, doing everything they can to impress does. They’re so focused on finding a mate that they forget to eat and start losing weight. Some even die due to injuries from fighting other bucks.

What can whitetail deer teach us about love?

Give your relationship everything you have. If you feel like your love life is in a rut, make an effort to work on your relationship. You don’t have to fight or starve yourself like bucks do, but love is always worth the effort.

Happy Valentine’s Day!