Have you ever thought about why geese may be seen flying in a V formation? There are many species of bird and a lot of them will fly further South during the winter months in order to maintain a warmer climate.
Each species of bird seems to have it’s own formation or style when flying in flocks from one place to another. Geese are no exception. They can maintain a tight V formation when flying and it’s quite similar to ducks if I’m not mistaken. But why do they do this? Is this just some sort of accident? Probably not, so let’s take a look at some of the theories.
Could The Geese be Saving Energy?
One of the theories of why geese will fly in a V formation is that they may be trying to save energy. The theory suggests that by them flying closely to one another it kind of creates better aerodynamics. Having the main goose in front and the others staggered closely behind and to the side, this allows for much better wind flow, almost like imagining an arrow flying through the air.
Not only are the aerodynamics better, but having less wind resistance on the geese that are behind the others helps them to fly with less stress. Since there isn’t as much wind resistance, they don’t have to flap as hard to keep cruising. There’s only one problem with this theory.
In order for this to work, they would have to keep perfect distance and angle with one another at all times plus they would need to flap their wings in unison, but it doesn’t seem to happen that way either.
If you’ve ever watched a flock of geese, you know that they tend to waiver quite a bit and definitely don’t flap their wings perfectly together. So I’m thinking this theory doesn’t hold much weight.
Does it Help the Geese Keep Up with One Another?
This thought is that maybe it’s a way of sticking together so they don’t get separated from each other. If they all stay behind each other, then it’s easy to see where the goose in front is at and where they’re going.
Although this sounds pretty logical, other folks say that the honk a goose yells out is what keeps the flock close together. Not only that, but when nightfall comes, they are still able to keep pace and not lose each other, so what gives?
Maybe it’s a Beacon for Other Geese
Now here’s an interesting one. Some people believe that the geese will fly in this V formation simply so other flocks passing by will recognize them. Well, that sounds pretty cool, but why would they even care? Is there some sort of tactical advantage to knowing where the other geese are flying?
Here’s What I Think
My bright idea is that maybe they are flying in this type of formation as a way of delivering signals to other geese that may be within eyes distance. Considering that they basically stay in the V formation, may slight variations of that formation are signs that there is danger near.
Think about it, all of natures creatures have some sort of warning system in place to warn others of potential danger. And you’re probably thinking, well, what about that honking they do. The way I see it, is that if they’re in the air and there was a good bit of distance between them and the neighboring flock, they probably wouldn’t hear a honking call. So creating sign language in the sky is the only logical thing to do.
Anyway, those are a few of the more popular theories as well as one of my own. Do you have any good explanations as to why gees fly in a V formation? Please help us out and comment below.