"Teamwork Lessons from the Geese" by Robert McNeish
This fall, when you see Geese heading south for the winter, flying along in ‘V’ formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following.
By flying in ‘V’ formation the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.
When the Head Goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Finally, and this is important, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshots and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly, or until it dies. Only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group.
by Robert McNeish (1972)
Robert F. McNeish was at one time an associate superintendent of the Baltimore public schools in Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America.