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Why birds fly in V formation

Updated on April 30, 2015

Birds migrating in V formation

One of the joys of the changing seasons is seeing migratory birds make their journey in the impressive V formation. Larger birds, like geese, pelicans, swans and cranes head south for the winter and in spring, head back north to their breeding grounds. Most birds that fly in V formation have a long journey and fly at extreme altitudes. I, for one, have always been mystified and fascinated by this aerial spectacle of nature. Why and how do they do it?

Did you know....

A group of geese on the ground is called a gaggle. A flock of geese in V formation is called a wedge or a skein.

Photo Credit: Flickr: Stevencook

Every formation has a lead bird out front who leads and sets the pace for the others. The first bird has to work the hardest since it flies through undisturbed air. When the lead bird tires, it will move out of the lead position and fall back into one of the lines of the V. Another bird will rapidly move forward to take the lead position to maintain the V formation. The two birds at the end of the V tire more rapidly and rotate frequently with the rest of the flock. The birds in the middle of the formation get the most benefit.

The lead bird breaks up the wall of air that the flocks flies into and experiences the most air drag or air resistance. The resulting swirling air or eddies caused by the lead bird's movements creates a lift or upwash for the birds behind it and so forth. The tubes of circulating air called wingtip vortices are generated as the wings generate lift. One wingtip vortex trails behind the tip of each wing. Each bird positions itself in a staggered position to the bird in front of it to get the extra lift and reduced air resistance or drag. A bird flying in formation therefore expends less energy than when it is flying solo. Another reason for flying in the V formation is that each bird can observe the position and flight direction of the other birds in the flock to avoid collisions, as well as, to keep the flock together.

Advantages of flying in V formation

It is more aerodynamic and more energy efficient than flying solo.

It allows for better visual communication.

Illustration of wingtip vortices - A picture says a thousand words.

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This illustration shows how wingtip vortices are generated at the tip of the bird's wings. Air moves from the area of high pressure (under the wing) to the area of low pressure (top of the wing) at the tip of the wing. As the wings move through the air, this curling action causes spirals or vortices at the tips of the wings. The rising air or updraft of the vortices shedding off the bird in front will lift up the bird trailing behind it.

Migratory birds take advantage of each other's wingtip vortices by flying in a V formation so all but the leader are flying in the upwash from the wing of the bird ahead. A little upwash makes it a little easier for the bird to support its own weight. It also lowers the heart beats, increases the flying range, and conserves up to 50-70% more energy.

Producing thrust and reducing drag

In most bird species, there are 10 primary feathers along the outer edge of each wing. The primaries propel the bird through the air.

When a Canada goose flaps its wings during flight, several things happen. During the downstroke (power stroke), a wing moves downward and forward producing forward thrust. During the upstroke (recovery stroke), the tips of the primaries separate and these 'slots' allow passage of air through them which reduces friction or drag as the wing comes up.

Photo Credit:Photobucket lzphotography

When a goose is hurt or shot and falls out of formation, two of the geese will leave the flock and follow the injured geese, stay with it, nurture it until it recovers. Or in the case that the injured bird dies, the two geese will start a new formation and catch up with the flock.

Snow geese (Anser caerulescens)

Almost perfect symmetry

Snow Geese breed in the Arctic Tundra and winter in farmlands, lakes and coastal areas in the American south, southwest and east coast. These attractive geese occur only in North America, and make an annual round trip journey of more than 5,000 miles at speeds of 50 mph or more. Seen in flight, adults are white with jet black wing tips. When migrating, they follow well-defined geographical features like coastlines, rivers and mountain ranges.There are four primary corridors in North America. From east to west, they are the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific flyways.

In Asia, Bar-headed Geese (Anser indicus) regularly migrate over the Himalayan Mountains, even over Mt. Everest at an altitude of 30,750 feet (9375 m) where the air is thin and the temperatures drop to minus 60 degrees F.

Source:ChipperWoods Bird Observatory

Snow Geese Migrating in V formation - Teamwork at its best

Photo Credit: Crappy Wildlife Photography

These migrating snow geese are taking advantage of the aerodynamic V formation. This is one of my favorite air shows choreographed by nature. Not only is this so beautiful to behold, but it proves how natural instinct, teamwork and trust play a big part in the lives of migrating birds during their long journey to their destination.

During migration the Snow Goose flies so high it can barely be seen. They form shifting curved lines and arcs as they fly. Hunters call these birds "Wavies." The name is derived from the Chippewa name for this bird, wewe. During the summer, their heads are often stained red as a result of gathering in mud containing iron oxides.

Source: whatbird.com

"Winged Migration" video clip - Sit back and watch in awe.

"For eighty million years, birds have ruled the skies, seas and earth. They fly vast distances. Each Fall, they fly the same route back. This film is the result of four years following their amazing odysseys, in the northern hemisphere and then the south, species by species. Jacques Perrin from "Winged Migration" is one of the most respected producers in France. This film is about exploring the mystery of birds. More than 450 people, including 17 pilots and 14 cinematographers were involved in the making of this documentary."

Barnacle geese migrate to Britain and Ireland in the winter, to escape the harsher climates of Greenland and Svalbard Island. The sudden appearance of the adult geese, with no prior sign of nesting or goslings, gave rise in folklore to the story that barnacle geese either grew on trees or developed from the goose barnacles found on driftwood.

Read more about the Barnacle Goose

Ducks flying with lead bird - Lead bird is also called the point bird

Photo Credit: Mr. rockin'P

Ducks and geese fly long distances to find the resources they need to survive and reproduce. The prompt for fall migration is not as clear but is most likely related to the timing of reproductive events and molting. Migratory departures are triggered by short-term changes in weather and habitat conditions.

Pelicans in V formation

Photo Credit: sonicberg

The pelican is known, above all, for its incredible beak, equipped with an enormous elastic pouch, which it uses as a net to capture and transport its prey. With a capacity of 13 litres, it can hold up to 4kg of fish. Certain species have a wingspan of 3.5 m and weigh up to 13 kg.

Pelicans are excellent gliding and soaring birds and can cover long distances. They flap their wings very little and make good use of rising currents of air. They can fly up to 24 hours without stopping and cover 500 km in a day. The highest flying speed recorded is 56 km/h.

More interesting facts about the brown pelicans

Who does not love pelicans - They are cute, comical and make you smile.

Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) - Known for excellent fishing skills

Photo Credit: dekayne

Cormorants are members of the pelican family, with all four toes on each foot webbed, which helps them in swimming and chasing fish underwater.

Cormorants are strong fliers, flying rather like a goose, with neck stretched out, head held up and rapid wing beats. They can soar in air currents, but usually fly low over the water. The birds fly day or night, usually in V-shaped flocks numbering 200 or fewer birds, but flocks can number over 1000.

In the Far East, some fishermen make use of the cormorant's expertise, by training it to catch fish for them. A collar and lead is attached to the bird's neck and the collar is just tight enough to prevent the cormorant from swallowing a captured fish. The fisherman retrieves the fish from the bird's beak, only loosening its collar now and then to allow it to swallow a fish.

Read more Cormorants facts

Watch cormorants helping a fisherman catch fish.

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Canada Goose not Canadian Goose

The Canada goose is one of the best known birds in North America and can be found in every contiguous state and Canadian province at one time of the year or another. When the birds do migrate, they form impressive and aerodynamic "V-formations." They can cover 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) in just 24 hours with a favorable wind, but typically travel at a much more leisurely rate. These noisy groups honk their way along established paths that include designated "rest stops." These social birds remain in flocks year-round, except while nesting.

The Canada Geese Air Show - Amazing!

Watch how wingtip vortices at the wingtips of each Canada goose benefit the one next to it. Even when the V formation changes shape, the geese continue to maintain the staggered position relative to each other. Every one gets that extra lift to save energy from wingtip vortices. This is the power of teamwork at its best.

Keep you eyes on the lead bird who works the hardest because it flies through undisturbed air.

Fun Canada goose-themed products for everyone - Realistic decoys, stuffed toys, or 1000-piece puzzle

Watch how the geese fall in line - There is nothing silly about the goose.

Sandhill Cranes ( Grus canadensis)

Sandhill cranes heading south for the winter for a warmer climate.

Cranes are recognizable by their long necks and legs. They also are characterized by their noisy courtship "dances." Unlike herons, cranes fly with necks outstretched, not pulled back.

There are six recognized subspecies of Sandhill Cranes. Of these, half are migratory. The migratory cranes travel long distances, using routes learned from adults. During this migration they congregate at major stopover spots.

Sandhill Cranes in V Formation - Every bird knows its place

Photo Credit: deserttoad

With over 500,000 birds, the Sandhill Crane is the most abundant crane worldwide. Yet it is an endangered species in Washington.

Cranes are extremely wary, requiring isolated sites with good cover during the nesting period. When repeatedly disturbed by pedestrians, construction, low-flying aircraft, vehicles, or predators, they desert their nests. For Sandhill Cranes to survive in Washington, breeding, migration, and wintering habitats all need to be protected and enhanced. It is crucial that the loss and degradation of wetlands in Sandhill Crane nesting habitat is stopped, and in some cases, creation of additional habitat should be considered. Wetlands within two miles of agricultural areas providing grain are ideal roosting areas.

Beautiful pictures, videos, maps of cranes migrating

Amazing Sandhill Crane migration - Stop over on the Platte river in Nebraska

Sandhill crane flock flying

The sandhill cranes took to the sky and some fell out of formation and got back in line, each one taking advantage of the upwash generated by the bird in front of it for the extra lift.

Swans migrating video - Here we go!

Why is one side of the V formation longer than the other? - Like a check mark

When a V formation looks more like a check mark, with one longer side than the other, it usually means a crosswind is blowing. The short side of the wind is taking the brunt of the wind, while on the long side, the birds are attempting to shield one another from it.

Any air plane flying through the air has to produce a lifting force to sustain its flight. The penalty for producing this lift comes in the form of induced drag. This induced drag can be reduced if the span of the wing is increased and it can further be reduced if the wings are swept back like those of fighter air planes. thus when the geese fly in the 'V' formation in close proximity it gives an effect similar to a huge air plane with swept back wings. Thus, the overall induced drag of the formation is much lower than the sum of induced drags of all the individual birds. Hence less effort to fly overall. Now when the winds blow across the formation the beneficial effects of reduced induced drag get offset towards the leeward side of the formation. therefore, to balance out the lift generation of both the arms, the windward arm is made longer.

Source: Basics of Aerodynamics

Birds flying in V formation - Wonder of Nature

Micmicking Mother Nature - Nature got there first

Photo Credit: Coop Photography

"Although manned aircraft can also exploit the benefits of formation flight, it is difficult to do so since we still lag behind nature in the ability of our technology to "feel" the air and adapt to it for optimum performance. Close formation flight among a group of aircraft is often difficult to maintain because of the turbulence created by the lead aircraft. Perhaps one day we will be able to develop advanced technologies that make aircraft as sensitive to their surroundings as the body of a bird is today. We may then be able to make better use of formation flight to improve the efficiency of flying vehicles."

Source: V- formation flight of birds

Fascinating books on bird migration for all ages

Lessons from the Geese

What mankind can learn from the geese.

'Individual empowerment results from quality honking'

Lessons from Geese provides a perfect example of the importance of team work and how it can have a profound and powerful effect on any form of personal or business endeavour. When we use these five principles in our personal and business life it will help us to foster and encourage a level of passion and energy in ourselves, as well as those who are our friends, associates or team members.

It is essential to remember that teamwork happens inside and outside of business life when it is continually nurtured and encouraged.

Lesson 1 - The Importance of Achieving Goals

As each goose flaps its wings it creates an UPLIFT for the birds that follow. By flying in a 'V' formation the whole flock adds 71 percent extra to the flying range.

Outcome

When we have a sense of community and focus, we create trust and can help each other to achieve our goals.

Lesson 2 - The Importance of Team Work

When a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back to take advantage of the lifting power of the birds in front.

Outcome

If we had as much sense as geese we would stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

Lesson 3 - The Importance of Sharing

When a goose tires of flying up front it drops back into formation and another goose flies to the point position.

Outcome

It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks. We should respect and protect each other's unique arrangement of skills, capabilities, talents and resources.

Lesson 4 - The Importance of Empathy and Understanding

When a goose gets sick, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to the ground to help and protect it.

Outcome

If we have as much sense as geese we will stand by each other in difficult times, as well as when we are strong.

Lesson 5 - The Importance of Encouragement

Geese flying in formation 'HONK' to encourage those up front to keep up with their speed.

Outcome

We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups and teams where there is encouragement, production is much greater. 'Individual empowerment results from quality honking'

Author Unknown

Honk or squawk if you stopped by. - I would love to hear from you.

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    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 6 years ago from Covington, LA

      Very informative and well written lens. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I enjoy watching the birds flying over the marshes of south San Francisco Bay so

      I enjoyed this article on bird flying dynamics.

      Apparently those 'bird brains" are smarter than we think! :-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Well, I'm honking at you ~ keep up the great work! I sorta knew this information but you have explained it so much better than I ever could. Wonderfully done! Beautiful work!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A great educational lens with clear focus on details. Well done.

    • jackieb99 profile image

      jackieb99 6 years ago

      Very educational. Thank you.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 6 years ago

      Well, nothing to squawk out, but this is remarkably presented -- I am seriously for the birds and glad to find another lover in the club.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 6 years ago from Canada

      I had no idea that the lead bird was not there for the entire time...I thought it was pecking order which determined the leader...but now you have enlightened me. Best wishes in the New Year.

    • spunkyduckling profile image

      spunkyduckling 6 years ago

      Very interesting and exciting information. i enjoyed reading about the way birds fly in v formation. The thing is I never even realized that they did this.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      Great lens and a great subject! I love watching the Sandhill Cranes and the Canadian Geese here in Wisconsin, there are so many, and when it's time for them to migrate they fill the sky and make so much noise...I always pray they have a save journey...but then that's just me.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      What an informative page! I knew the general reasons that birds fly in a V formation, but I didn't know about the "checkmark" V with one side longer than the other. Now I know. Excellent! Thank you!

    • rlivermore profile image

      rlivermore 6 years ago

      So many important lessons. Thanks for sharing.

    • NatureMaven profile image

      NatureMaven 6 years ago

      What a great topic! I don't know if you do facebook, but if you do you might check out Operation Migration- it's got great photos of whooping crane in formation following the ultralight pilots.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 6 years ago

      Enjoyed your lens. Nice.

    • beerhead profile image

      beerhead 6 years ago

      Beautiful lens. Great pics and awesome info learned some new things here. Thanks!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Love the "lessons from the geese" section :)

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      This is just fascinating! Thank you. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Of course, there is a reason why birds fly in V shape. An interesting topic to make a lens and I love the pictures on your lens.

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 6 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      Squawk - lots of info here and great illustrations, I love waterfowl. blessed by a Squid Angel on St Patrick's Day. - I'll feature it on my Wild Bird Lens too - thumbs up

    • profile image

      dessertlover 6 years ago

      Super interesting information! I never knew any of this - thanks for sharing!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I came here expecting to find an ordinary lens, but instead found an extra-ordinary lens. This is brilliant, so full of great information and some superb pictures too. Who ever thought that birds were stupid! I love to see them flying in formation, and never get tired of watching the pelicans flying along the beach. Blessed by an angel and well deserved.

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      Sadheeskumar 6 years ago

      Very very interesting lens. Congrats for the Purple Star.

    • profile image

      GetSillyProduct 6 years ago

      I knew it was to reduce drag, but I had no idea about the vortices from their wings!

    • tlholley717 profile image

      Thomas Holley 6 years ago from Evansville, IN

      I found this lens very informative! I always thought that birds chose the V because the other letters were too hard. Turns out to have very scientific reasons and principles. Thanks!

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      very informative lens with lot of wonderful photos and vids. thanks for the great information.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Outstanding lens! I learned a great deal. The sight of birds in formation always stirs something within me. I feel I should be on my way somewhere. Oh to travel along! Really enjoyed this lens. Thanks!

    • pheonix76 profile image

      pheonix76 6 years ago from WNY

      I absolutely LOVE this lens!! Thank you for making such a beautiful bird lens. :):):) I am an avid birder and was able to see thousands of geese this past March, including around a thousand snow geese, truly a spectacular sight en masse. I have lensrolled and featured you lens on one of my bird pages.

    • goode006 lm profile image

      goode006 lm 6 years ago

      This was very interesting about birds, we all learn something new every day.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Wow, I learned a lot here. VERY interesting. Next time I look up in the sky to see a "V," I'll know much more about what I'm looking at.

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Yes, I dropped out of formation to pay this lovely lens a visit - well worth my while and well-worthy of the purple satr.

    • Mix Mafra profile image

      Michelle Mafra 6 years ago from Corona CA

      Congratulations on your purple star. This lens is truly lovely and made me inspired. I live in an migratory bird area in Anaheim and I have the pleasure of seeing many bird formations and they are so much fun to watch. Nature is truly amazing

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Very informative lens! Nice work.

    • ForestBear LM profile image

      ForestBear LM 6 years ago

      beautiful lens! Great images and very informative, thank you for sharing. I just became a fan!

    • whoisbid lm profile image

      whoisbid lm 6 years ago

      Amazing. I did not know that the birds changed positions for that reason.. Thanks for letting me know about it

    • marckq profile image

      marckq 6 years ago

      Saving this lens on my favorites. My bird lover son should see this!

    • profile image

      dessertlover 6 years ago

      Very interesting lens! I learned a lot here!

    • profile image

      Runnn 6 years ago

      Bird's good teamwork. Something we need to learn from them.

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      Tarra99 6 years ago

      informative! thanks for sharing...

    • Krafick profile image

      Krafick 6 years ago

      Very interesting information. Rafick

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hmm... There's a lot to learn from the geese I guess! Wonder who taught them aerodynamics! Brilliant lens. :)

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 5 years ago

      The birds will be heading south soon.

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I had no idea the v shape flight was so technical. It's all too much for my birdbrain to comprehend. Love the photos and videos.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi bakerwoman,

      An amazing lense, I truly enjoyed reading it. We live under the Atlantic Flyway, and soon the birds will gather and start to fly over on their way south for the winter. The geese land nearby at the marsh, and you really hear them when they start to decend, we love them!

      N T T

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      Fantastic! I'm not a birder, but love this. It answered some of my questions. Seeing those sandhill cranes reminds me of my newlywed days when my husband butchered our rabbits (not pets) and our friends had thought they were pets. We didn't know a sandhill crane from a buttercup, but we'd heard the name, so we told our friends the meat they ate at our dinner table was sandhill cranes we had bought at the Public Market! agh! now that I see them I'd never had suggested eating them. This is a beautiful lens.

    • ellagis profile image

      ellagis 5 years ago

      Really a beautiful lens, so complete and rich of interesting aspects! I really love animals - therefore birds too - and I loved to read about them.

      Oh, the times I could see V-flying birds across Roman skies too.... now the madness of men leaded them to change their route, as much as they can, to save from pollution and death.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 5 years ago

      This is one of the most interesting lenses I've read. I totally loved it. It's so well constructed and informative. If I were a Squid Angel, I'd bless it.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      Well presented info with beautiful design. I like it a lot. Thanks:)

    • PositiveChristi1 profile image

      PositiveChristi1 5 years ago

      This lens is absolutely amazing. Fascinating subject and wonderfully presented.

      Squid-liked and Angel blessed.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Amazing pictures...am glad to learn about the v formation as I often see them.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Amazing pictures...am glad to learn about the v formation as I often see them.

    • rootadesigns lm profile image

      rootadesigns lm 5 years ago

      Interesting lens!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 5 years ago from Vermont

      Honk honk honk! Watching birds fly south this week from Vermont made me choose "birds" in this fly-around angel quest.

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      ThomasJ4 LM 5 years ago

      Wow, this is very interesting and the physics makes sense. Its funny to see the airplanes copying the birds, lol!

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 5 years ago

      This is an awesome lens...I can see how this applies perfectly to team work. Excellent!

    • A RovingReporter profile image

      A RovingReporter 5 years ago

      This is a great lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 5 years ago from Western Mass

      terrific videos, photos and explanation.

    • elyria profile image

      elyria 5 years ago

      So interesting! It is one thing that I have always wondered yet never remembered to look up, so I am glad I discovered your Lens and finally learned :)

    • elyria profile image

      elyria 5 years ago

      So interesting! It is one thing that I have always wondered yet never remembered to look up, so I am glad I discovered your Lens and finally learned :)

    • juditpaton profile image

      Iudit Gherghiteanu 5 years ago from Ozun

      wonderful lens, and the explanation for the bird's way of fly will make me very respected by my grandchildren. but myself often was wondering, what is going on, where is from that discipline...thank you for the interesting lens and beautiful photos.

    • SookieLovesToPa profile image

      SookieLovesToPa 5 years ago

      Very interesting subject - well covered :)

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      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens - very interestign!

    • spartakct profile image

      spartakct 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens! Very Interesting!

    • alexandradouglas profile image

      Alexandra Douglas 5 years ago from Florida

      Very interesting!

    • profile image

      cmadden 5 years ago

      Beautiful and informative!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Your lenses on birds are so awesome that I set up a bookmarks folder to keep track of them. Thank you for creating these incredible resources.

    • jlshernandez profile image
      Author

      jlshernandez 5 years ago

      @SteveKaye: @Steve_Kaye thank you for the ultimate compliment. I am thrilled that you enjoy bird-watching and respect nature. I never thought I would become a bird lover until the hummingbirds started building nests in my backyard. Thanks for your moral support. I truly appreciate readers like you.

    • thesuccess2 profile image

      thesuccess2 5 years ago

      Angels Blessings for these marvelous photos!

    • ashroc profile image

      ashroc 5 years ago

      what a great lens, packed with interesting information, well done!

    • ashroc profile image

      ashroc 5 years ago

      what a great lens, packed with interesting information, well done!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Honk Honk! I love this lens! Very useful, fun information. I love that you noted it's Canada geese, not Canadian geese.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 5 years ago from California

      Absolutely great page! I learned a lot and especially like your Lessons learned from geese, this one struck me first: "When we have a sense of community and focus, we create trust and can help each other to achieve our goals." but all of them are so true. *Blessed* by a Squid Angel that also loves birds :)

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      bakanz 5 years ago

      I'm very honored to see your lens that includes my video 'Canada (Geese) Skies' under your article heading "The Canada Geese Air Show"! Thank you; and to borrow a quote from your intro, I, too, 'have always been mystified and fascinated by this aerial spectacle of nature'! Cheers to you (and to your skillful presentations of such interesting aspects of these birds' lives:)

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      sammittal 5 years ago

      Nice info.

    • SecondHandJoe LM profile image

      SecondHandJoe LM 5 years ago

      Well,I thought I knew a lot about migratory birds, but I learned a lot more! Great lens, congrats on LotD- Well Deserved!

    • CNelson01 profile image

      Chuck Nelson 5 years ago from California

      Amazing lens with lots of interesting information.

    • bluefire1020 profile image

      bluefire1020 5 years ago

      =) I like nature and birds are one of them. Thanks for sharing this, I've learned so much.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Amazing lens,I learned a lot

    • greenmind profile image

      greenmind 5 years ago

      Reminds me of a joke my son told me once --

      Q -- What do you call the goose at the front of the V?

      A -- "The goose at the front of the V."

      Yeah, I didn't get it either, but they thought it was funny...

    • RCGraphicsDesign profile image

      RCGraphicsDesign 5 years ago

      It is funny how so many people think it is a Canadian Goose. Here in north Florida we have thousands of Canada Geese and I hear the incorrect pronunciation all the time. Thanks for a great lens.

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      Funny_Beekeeper 5 years ago

      I asked myself this question many times before, but I couldn't get the right answer. Now I learned a whole lot of new things thanks to you and your lovely lens. Thank you for sharing this info and giving me the answer I was looking for ;)

    • JEMArtistry profile image

      JEMArtistry 5 years ago

      Great Lens! Very Interesting. :)

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 5 years ago

      Fascinating article! After seeing the "Illustration of wingtip vortices", I finally understand more clearly how this works. Thanks!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      I was looking for information on pelicans and came across this lens. Very interesting. Blessed.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for explaining about the V formation of migratory birds. They are such wonderful birds.

    • desa999 lm profile image

      desa999 lm 5 years ago

      Amazing coverage of this topic with some incredible photos. Well done.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      So much interesting info. I learned quite a few new things. Blessed!

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Great stuff, I am hiding in a phone booth until the movie is over. Blessed!

    • profile image

      crstnblue 5 years ago

      Very nice, informative lens!

    • AmrElsawy profile image

      AmrElsawy 5 years ago

      Great and amazing. But i have a question dear friend: How every bird can keep distance between it and another one and they never hit their wings together even when they try to turn together right and left?

    • jlshernandez profile image
      Author

      jlshernandez 5 years ago

      @AmrElsawy: Geese honk at each other when flying in V formation as a way to communicate with each other. Instinctively, birds know how to keep distance from each other when flying or even sitting on powerlines for taking off and landing.

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      This is a wonderful lens. So beautiful and informative.

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 5 years ago

      Interesting lens. Lots of information but still fun to read because of the beautiful pictures.

    • profile image

      antoniow 5 years ago

      Great and useful lens, well done! Thumbs up

    • profile image

      jseven lm 5 years ago

      Great ,informative and nice pics. I love birds and flying. Blessed!

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      It's really neat to watch birds fly in their natural formation. Really loved the pics :)

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      I found this again, and it's amazing. Thank you for publishing this wonderful tribute to these birds. So here is a happy "Honk!"

    • Violetta LM profile image

      Violetta LM 5 years ago

      What a lovely lens this is to view. . One has to admire and respect their natural instincts for such organization in their social group.

    • ramonabeckbritman profile image

      ramonabeckbritman 5 years ago

      Very nice Lens! I have a Quaker Parrot in the house that is pretty entertaining. Wild birds in my back yard since I have a small fish pond the birds enjoy bating in it.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 5 years ago from Arizona

      This was so interesting-thank you!

    • kburns421 lm profile image

      kburns421 lm 5 years ago

      Wow, this was a lot more interesting than I ever though bird formations would be! I learned quite a bit. I didn't even know a group of geese was called something different depending on whether they were in the air or on land. Also found it really interesting that two geese will care for a hurt one. Great stuff!

    • gamrslist profile image

      gamrslist 5 years ago

      cool lens thank you for sharing, your sloppy formation pic isn't showing ? or mybe its my pc

    • jlshernandez profile image
      Author

      jlshernandez 5 years ago

      @gamrslist: Thanks for the heads up. The pics not showing are caused by a Flickr issue. Will fix ASAP when I get the time.

    • chft55 lm profile image

      chft55 lm 5 years ago

      great lens! I've always wondered this, also. Now I know.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Loved it! Thanks for sharing! ;-)

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Besides being an interesting lesson on why birds fly in the V formation, this is the perfect lens related to 'flight' to read for 'Amelia Earhart Day'. :)

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 5 years ago

      Fabulous, educational and VERY interesting lens! You get my vote for today's "Amelia Earhart" day quest choice! I have always wondered why sometimes the V looked like more of a checkmark than a V. Now I know!

      For the last 4 years, John & I have wintered in coastal areas, and find ourselves watching the birds fly over the water... We always say, when we see the pelicans, "Ok hon... here we go! The leader... 'flap flap flap flap flap' and all the birds behind 'flap flap flap flap flap' followed by - one at a time - 'coast coast coast coast coast' - it's quite remarkable how they know how to work together like that! :) Blessed! Kath

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is a fascinating and very educational lens. Great job.

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 5 years ago

      I learnt load and we humans could learn a lot from the geese and birds

    • profile image

      golfspice 4 years ago

      Interesting page on bird flight - makes total sense when you think about it. Great information.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 4 years ago from Concord VA

      Thanks for this interesting info!

    • profile image

      JamesDWilson 4 years ago

      More avian fun and facts than you can shake a stick at, great lens.

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 4 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      I feel much smarter having read your lens, so thankyou!

    • alexandradouglas profile image

      Alexandra Douglas 4 years ago from Florida

      Just Awesome! Birds are neat! Thank you for sharing! Feel free to look at my birdy lens!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      We live near a bird sanctuary so geese are often flying overhead. It constantly surprises me how much birds talk to each other. It seems that all birds do it though and I am so very glad as I love listening to them.

    • Wbisbill LM profile image

      Barbara Isbill 4 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      Interesting! Thumbs up!

    • maryLuu profile image

      maryLuu 4 years ago

      Good and well informed lens you've got here. Nice job!

    • smaraymond profile image

      smaraymond 4 years ago

      I've never been a bird person, but this lens was very interesting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wow, this was extremely interesting. Furthermore, I have presented some of it to one of the people in our social group.

      Thanks!

    • Deborah Swain profile image

      Deborah Swain 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

      wow! an amazingly thorough lens...fascinating stuff!

    • profile image

      Bartukas 4 years ago

      very interesting lens thank you

    • readty7 profile image

      readty7 3 years ago

      I have been so close to Canadian geese they are so nice!

    • ViolaSuSi profile image

      ViolaSuSi 3 years ago

      Extremely interesting this lens. Enjoyed learning so many things on migratory birds.

    • profile image

      Doc_Holliday 3 years ago

      Now that is what teamwork is all about.

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