Jim Gilbert's Nature Notes: Birds flying in V-shaped formations

  • Article by: Jim Gilbert , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 31, 2013 - 6:18 PM

When a bird flaps its wings it redistributes the air around it, leaving whirling eddies behind. Some gregarious species, such as the Canada goose, have learned to take full advantage of this upwardly spinning air by flying in wedge or V-shaped formations. This “drafting” allows the geese to travel at an easier pace throughout their flights. Researchers have found that geese flying in Vs can travel as much as 70 percent farther than they could otherwise.

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