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Press release: (The Los Angeles Times Syndicate) Winged mystery solved: Scientists in France say they have solved the mystery of why birds fly in a "V" formation as they travel long distances. The team from the National Center for Scientific Research in Villiers en Bois taped heart monitors to several migratory pelicans and found that their heartbeat was significantly lower while flying in the distinctive formation. Pelicans were also found to be able to glide more often with the aerodynamic help given from the flapping of other birds' wings. The resulting energy savings are thought to be crucial for the migrating birds, which can spend thousands of miles on the wing. Flying in a "V" also appears to allow birds to communicate more easily with each other.
Canada Geese: Canada's Gift to the World
by Dee Walmsley,
Image Credit: Nancy Fox
Watching a gaggle of these magnificent birds honking their way south is a sure sign fall is in the air. This “V” flight formation has some interesting facts.
Image credit: Robert Savannah
Canada Geese mate
for life. A protective gander defending his mate can deliver a blow using
his wing with enough force to break a man’s arm.
The family group migrates together and will return to
the same nesting area year after year. The
yearlings must then move on and find their own territory where at the age
of three they will mate, nest, and begin their own families.
For centuries, hunters and wild predators kept the
birds' numbers in check. However, habitat loss forced the geese into urban
environments where without predators their numbers increased at alarming
rates. Today these majestic birds are viewed by many as pests. They eat
crops and foul parks and golf courses with their feces. Droppings also
pollute urban water supplies and swimming areas. Over-feeding often
destroys landscaping in parks and recreational areas.
Fortunately every problem has a solution, even for a loose
Don’t feed waterfowl.
We all have a part to play in protecting and managing our wild things. If we do it right there will always be a gaggle of geese trumpeting the onset of autumn over the land.
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