lessons from geese

Here are some facts about Geese, borrowed from Dr Robert McNeish. They appeared in an issue of Southwest Airlines corporate newsletter.

When you see geese heading back north for the summer flying along in a "V" formation you might be interested in knowing what scientists have discovered about why they fly that way. It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in "V" formation, the whole flock adds a least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

Whenever a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

When the leads goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.

The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

When a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out on their own or fly with another formation to catch up with their group.