Geese Flight Habits
While looking out of my study window at home in Surrey,
which is just south of London in the UK, I have noticed many large
flocks of geese migrating North.
As far as I understand the principles of migration, birds go south in the
winter to escape the severity of the weather. Why is then that geese
appear to do the exact opposite and travel North to the harsher climates
at this time of year.
I am not certain about your particular observation, but there could be two
I have see, here in the USA (Pennsylvania) that birds flying overhead are
not always headed directly south in the fall or north in the spring. There
may be a sort of finding their travel bearings and assigment of head goose
during part of the migration process, where the observed direction is not
the ultimate direction destination.
A second possibility might have to do with the particular area you describe.
It is common that expected temperatures based on latitude/longitude for a
region are often greatly modified by proximity to water. For example,
coastal areas here in the US which are influenced by the gulf streams are
often warmer than predicted. Since I don't know the habit of the particular
birds you describe, I cannot state for certain, but there is the possibility
that by heading to the area (assuming they are actually ultimately going in
that direction) might represent their knowledge that there are warmer
climes, even if they might be to the north due to body-of-water temperature
You might try consulting a good text describing the habit of the particular
bird species you are describing.
Thanks for using NEWTON!
Geese have to practice flying to build up their flight muscles for a long
flight such as migration. They will do this as a group and fly in very
large circles, in any direction, for several weeks. I suspect this is what
You must check any area they can breed. This includes houseplant soil and
and cracks in woodwork, especially where water might be available. Over the
short term, once any habitat or potential food are removed, the flies will
quickly cease to live in the area.
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Update: June 2012