7 lessons from geese




When I’ve not posted for a while It’s usually because I’ve been curled up with pain or wallowing in fatigue, BUT this time I’ve been on holiday in Norfolk with my partner. It is easy to drift apart and holidays are the perfect way to reconnect.

I am inspired to write about the lessons we can learn from geese! Draw your own conclusions.
Animals Waterfowl_Wild Formation

Sharing a commonality:  As each goose flaps its wings it creates “uplift”, an aerodynamic orientation that reduces air friction, for the birds that follow. By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock achieves a 70% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Notice what’s happening: Flying in a V-formation increases the visibility as every goose can see what’s happening in front of them.

Rely on each other: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the friction of flying alone. It then quickly adjusts its mistake and moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.

Empower each other: When the lead goose in the front gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and allows another goose to take the lead position.

Constant encouragement: The geese honk to recognize each other and encourage those up front to keep up.

Offering support: When a goose gets sick or wounded, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.

Staying committed: The geese migration routes never vary. They use the same route year after year. Even when the flock members change, the young learn the route from their parents. In the spring they will go back to the spot where they were born.


8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by fghandmadebags on April 28, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I´m from Norfolk and although I now live amongst the mountains I still really enjoy coming ‘home’ (twice a year) to the county of the big skies and quiet country lanes.


  2. In your best Paul Whitehouse voice say with me “Isn’t nature brilliant!” (I’m guessing only the uk people will get that, so for anyone else YouTube “isn’t milk brilliant” with “the fast show”.

    Like you I’m guessing, I’ve seen articles about this on tv recently where they’ve been researching this. It made me think it was really clever, and that the birds must be doing something really intelligent, but then I also thought a lot could be down to instinct and experience etc. I’ve yet to figure out personally which one I think it’s more likely to be, but does remind me of the cutaway section from Family Guy where 2 scientists are testing if lipstick on a bunny will stop a bullet – some scientists just have too much time on their hands lol.


  3. this is a lovely metaphor — the words of a wendell berry poem comes to mind about resting where the geese hang out — when the world overwhelms me — like you, I believe if we do this together, we will survive and thrive


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