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Flying like a goose, (as a human) would be very helpful in aiding longevity, tolerance, productivity, teamwork – don’t stop me now! There are umpteen qualities to learn from Canada’s beloved Geese.

This time of year I have the privilege of watching flocks of Canadian Geese taking their formation very seriously as they begin their journey down the Atlantic Seaboard. I can tell when to look out as their voices are loud and undeniable. I guess the word is quack when it refers to geese communicating or maybe honking is the best description. Yes honking it is and thunderous at times.

Their formations have always caught my attention and I watch as one flies as a leader and the rest follow forming the famous ‘V’. The formations (skeins) can contain up to twenty or more birds who will then through powers of collaborative cooperation decide to fall into 3 or 2 soaring “V’s”.

The geese choose to fly this arrangement because they each fly slightly higher than the one in front of them and so can go greater distances because they are lifted and helped along by the work and wind resistance offered by the bird above. The head of the pattern, when tired, falls to the end of the formation and the next leader steps up. The rotation continues all the way to their final sun spot where they migrate until spring when again I hear their arrival before ever spotting them gliding on home with their advanced degrees in aerodynamics.

geese arrival in florida

Just as fighter pilots fly in this pattern to keep track of their team so do the geese. They watch out for each other as everyone is a key element to their survival – in the case of the geese –  flying to their winter home.

Canadians (the human ones) are notorious for flocking south in the harsh winter months and have now be deemed the Snow Birds. It is a term everyone is familiar with and uses on a regular basis. I think it is charming and sounds complimentary for the most part.

If anyone ever told me when I grew older I would want to be a snow bird I would have laughed out loud but as age happens, joints ache, the extended after effects of ice slips and the urge to take advantage of the early bird specials (to avoid the crowds and din) do occur so err – well, perhaps it is worth a thought or two. In the meantime I hope I get a chance to make a short visit down to Florida this winter just to say ‘honk, honk, honk’ to my friends.


What can we humans learn from the habits of these resilient creatures?

  1. Find your wings and you will soar.
  2. Spread your wings to soar higher.
  3. Rely on others when taking on big tasks.
  4. Support others (too) allowing for a conservation of energies – up to 65%!
  5. Work in teams.
  6. Travel – see the world – geese do not stop at North America.
  7. Communicate.
  8. HONK your own horn when needed.
  9. Stay fit.
  10. Congregate.
  11. Worry less, live more.

Canadian Goose in Flight

And if none of these resonate then as we used to say in high school.

Be like a bird and flock off. 🙂


Lesley Fletcher is a writer (freelance, books, content, lyrics,stage plays) as well as a visual artist specializing in the art of monoprinting. To learn more about her please visit the tabs here on WordPress or her website at http://www.LesleyFletcher.com


Below is a monoprint titled ‘The Circle of Life“. The original is framed and hanging near my workspace as a reminder that what comes around goes around and although stormy times will happen belief in the circle prevails the volatility.

The Circles of Life - www.lesleyfletcher.com