A Spirit of Teamwork and the Flight of the Great Northern Geese

A Spirit of Teamwork and the Flight of the Great Northern Geese
from an art print by Richard Cowdrey*

Formation Flying
Flying in a V-formation, the noble geese travel thousands of miles with ease and precision. As each bird moves its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird following. Formation flying is 70 percent more efficient than flying alone.

Accept and Give Help
When one of the great birds falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and quickly rejoins the formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

Everyone Leads
At a distance, the flock appears to be guided by a single leader. The lead bird does in fact guide the formation, winging smoothly through the oncoming elements. If the lead goose tires, however, it rotates back into the formation and another bird flies at the point position.

Honk and Encourage
Each flock finds its own rhythm. The pulsating sound of the great wings beating together excites and energizes the whole formation. The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Good Times or Bad
When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it is able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out on their own into another formation, or they catch up with their flock.

Three geese-related bonuses are available: (1) The Great Wing by Louis A Tartaglia, MD, 1997, a deceptively easy, innocent book for youth and others who are young-at-heart. The book is an amazingly wise, powerful, enduring parable about an inspirational community of migrating Canadian geese and their consciously empowered Master Mind Principles of aerodynamic flight; (2) the 1990s limited-edition Spirit of Teamwork print from “Ducks Unlimited” – contact Alice.White@TTU.edu to borrow hers; (3) Winged Migration, Jacques Perrin’s 89-minute DVD, nominated for the Academy Award’s “Best Documentary Feature 2002.”

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