Canada geese are beautiful, intelligent birds who mate for life, fiercely protect their eggs and young, and display loyalty for other members of their flock. The values embodied by geese can also be instructive to humans, and how we co-exist with each other. The presence of geese adds value to the urban community, often by providing people with limited access to wild spaces an opportunity to observe and even interact with animals.
It might surprise some to know that geese have unique personalities!
Lessons we can learn from Geese
- As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an "uplift" for the other birds to follow. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 70% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Our Lesson: People who share a common direction and a sense of community get where they are going quicker and easier -- because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
- When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Our Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.
- When a goose tires, it rotates to the back of the formation as another goose flies to the point opposite.
Our Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other's skills, capabilities and unique arrangement of gifts, talents or resources.
- The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Our Lesson: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups -- where there is encouragement to stand by one's heart or core values and encourage the same in others -- is the sort of honking we seek.
- When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, 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 in formation and try to catch the flock.
Our Lesson: If we had as much sense as geese, we would stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.
Please check out lovecanadageese.com by Choo Love to learn more about some of the ways which geese and human interact, and the importance of learning to coexist with our wild neighbors.
About Canada Geese migratory behavior: http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/animals/birds-animals/waders-and-waterfowl/goose_canada/