By Oluwatoyin Segilola Awolesi
The word goose is not new to English language. “What is good for the goose is good for the gander’’ is a popular saying glorifying this birds. Yet that’s not all the language has bestowed on this lovable creature. In a rather undignified way, people call others goose, interpreted to mean silly. But let’s see if these birds are really silly. Geese often migrate over very long distances and can do round trips in a year of over 5000 miles. Some species migrate over the world’s highest pick (Mount Everest) a dizzying 10,000 metres above sea level where the air is so thin and temperatures can be less than minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit. To achieve these feats the bird must harness tremendous amounts of energy. This, it attempts to do by deliberately increasing its food intake just before the migration season to build up body fat that the long tedious flight will burn off.
Yet all these preparation alone will not get the bird anywhere near its destination. This is where the much ridiculed ‘’geese sense’’ comes into play. What an individual goose cannot achieve a flock will easily do without batting an eyelid. (geese sleep in flight while migrating thanks to wonderful cooperation they receive from each other).
Geese like many other birds which have to migrate over very long distances, sometimes covering more than half the earth, fly in beautiful formation either in ‘’v’’, ‘’u’’ or slanted ‘’/’’ formations. Have you ever wondered why? The bird leading is the only one in the whole that is exerting its full energy. By taking advantage of the wing tip vortex of the bird in front the birds behind can save energy by as much as 50%! In lay language, the bird behind enjoys the draft created by the bird ahead in the formation.
That way the bird at the rear will be practically sleeping as it is carried along by the others. The birds take turns to lead and then retire to the rear to sleep. Geese sense! What happens if a goose falls and cannot fly with the rest? Two other geese will have to drop from the flock and accompany the sick one until such a time when it is ready to fly again. That way the ‘’v’’ formation can always be maintained in its most basic form. No goose will never attempt to make it alone. You too can’t afford to walk alone. That is the idea of a TEAM- Together Everyone Achieves More.