Next autumn, when you see geese heading south for the winter, flying in their familiar “V” formation, you might be interested in knowing why they fly that way.
Science has learned that, as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately behind it. By flying in a “V” formation, the flock together gains over 70% more flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
Like the geese, people who share a common direction and a sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
Whenever one goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone. It will quickly try to get back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the birds in front. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are going.
When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing, and another goose takes over the point position. It pays to take turns doing hard jobs!
The geese from behind honk constantly, as you’ve no doubt heard whenever a flock passes overhead. They do this to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. An encouraging word goes a long way!
Finally, when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshots, and falls out of the formation, two geese follow it down to stay with it and protect it. They stay until the goose is either able to fly again, or dies. They then launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with the group. If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other.
~ Author Unknown