Sunday 23 October 2011

Birds of a Feather Flock Together

When Canada geese fly south for the winter, they fly 71% faster since they do so in V-formation, logging as many as 1000 kilometres a day on their journey.  With the frosty nights just around the corner, Canadians will soon hear the familiar squawk of the geese flying overhead on their way to a warmer climate.  Usually travelling in groups of 25 members, the geese are able to communicate more effectively and maintain visual contact in their V-formation which creates a current of air as one bird lifts up the one behind it.  The lead goose sets the pace, but if it tires, then it falls to the back of the pack and lets another goose take over.  If a goose is sick or is shot and falls out of formation, two other geese fly to its rescue, travelling with it until it is well or dies.  The geese at the back of the pack honk to encourage the geese in front of them.  If only humans always flew in a V-formation:  we too could travel faster and further and easier.

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