V Formation and Geese
Why do ducks fly in a V formation when migrating ? are
the legs of the V equal?
Canada Geese is probably what you are referring to and this bird flies in
a V formation for several purposes it is believed. One is that it
indicates dominance in the group. The lead birds are always
female. Second the lead bird is creating a turbulance wave that actual
assists the birds behind it. The further back you are in the formation,
the less energy you need in the flight. Lead birds do rotate to keep
exhaustion from happening. Computer models show that the V formation
allows for the best postioning to receive the boost from the air waves
created by the bird in front.
The "v" is a result of birds taking advantage of a little bit of extra lift
from the air flow off the wing of the previous bird, so the legs are not
necessarily, and usually aren't, equal, sometimes no v, just a single line.
Geese and cranes most usually use the formation.
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Update: June 2012