Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Photo courtesy: grammyssweetnothings.blogspot.com

Have you ever wondered why geese fly in a "V" formation or how fast they can fly? Well, you're about to find out.

During migration, it is common for Canada geese to fly at altitudes of 300-1000 m (984-3281 ft)(.62 mi) at speeds that average between 60-80 km (37-50 mi) per hour. With the help of a strong tail wind, their speed can reach just over 100 km (62 mi) per hour. Pretty impressive stuff!

Canada geese are usually seen flying in irregular "V" formation in flocks that are typically made up of a number of family groups. Some Canada geese can travel more than 1000 km (621 mi) from their summer grounds in Canada to wintering grounds in the southern and central USA in less than one week. Others have been tracked making the trip in only one day. It is thought that flocks with goslings migrating South for the first time take longer to reach their destination than flocks without goslings.

Scientists believe Canada geese fly in "V" formations for two reasons. One is to help the geese save energy, as the aerodynamic formation reduces drag across their bodies. The formation may also help gees quickly communicate changes in flight speed and direction.

Via Canadian Wildlife

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