Why do geese fly in a V formation? (Thinkstock)
Why do geese fly in a V formation?
Lexile

Flying takes a lot of energy. So does flapping their wings and generating lift.
 
All this flapping creates an updraft. It is in the air currents around the bird's wingtips.
 
Another bird can spend less energy by flying in this sweet spot. It is located slightly behind and above the first bird.
 
The idea is like cyclists riding behind one another in a bike race. They save energy.
 
For geese, spending less energy means flying longer distances.
 
In fact, one study found they can increase their range by 70% on long migratory flights.
 
When the lead bird gets tired, it drops back in formation. Another bird moves to the front.
 
Flying in the V formation also lets the birds keep in visual contact with one another. It keeps them going in the right direction.
 
That way, they do not crash into each other or get lost along the way.

Filed Under:  
Assigned 113 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why does expending less energy allow geese to fly longer distances?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (7)
  • timothya-war
    9/25/2015 - 08:42 a.m.

    its cool to think that the geese now how to save energy by flying in a v. also that the leader will drop to back to save from stopping. the v formation helps the geese fly for longer

  • williamv-war
    9/25/2015 - 08:43 a.m.

    The v formation is fascinating the geese do it when they fly south for the winter. The v formation makes it easier for them to fly. When the lead bird gets tired he drops back and lets another bird take the lead so they don't have to type

  • gracy-eri
    9/29/2015 - 02:13 p.m.

    At first , expending less energy allows geese to fly longer distances because they cannot get tired . For example , when the lead bird gets tired , another bird lead them in front . Secondly , they cannot get lost so they are possible to save their energy for long distance . For example , they keep cobtact between each other and keep going in the right direction . Finally , they are wise birds because they know flying in V formation can save energy . For example , their flying way is like cyclist riding behind one another in a bike race so the follower birds can save their energy .

  • jacew-mel
    9/30/2015 - 10:04 a.m.

    Because like Charles Murphy did,rode behind a train and it made him go faster. He went up to 60 miles ph

  • mackenzieb-coo
    9/30/2015 - 10:36 a.m.

    I have always wanted to know why they do that and now I know.

  • ryanstreator-bak
    10/06/2015 - 05:58 p.m.

    I wonder why they don't crash ????????????????

  • jacobm1-ree
    11/13/2015 - 01:04 p.m.

    expending less gives more because one study found they can increase their range by 70% on long migratory flights. plus they can switch after the leader gets tired they switch."When the lead bird gets tired, it drops back in formation. Another bird moves to the front." so thats why they fly in V's.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT