This story appeared in Gordie Allen's Journal and Republican weekly column, Allen's Alley. Having just seen a flock of geese flying overhead during my morning walk, thought I would share this information.
Next fall when you see geese heading south for the winter flying along in a "V" formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way. It has been learned that as
each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. People who share common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
Whenever a goose falls out of formation it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to do it alone and quickly gets into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way as we are going. When the goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point. It pays to take turns doing hard jobs.
The geese honk from behind 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 a gun shot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and
then they 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 like that.
- Author Unknown