We don’t see the Canada Goose very often in the Rio Rancho area – except for in the winter, when they seem to enjoy taking over the high school baseball fields.
The arrival of these birds is one of the indicators that colder weather is on the way, particularly when they are seen flying south overhead in their distinctive “V” pattern.
One of my favorite facts about Geese is that their flying pattern serves a very special purpose. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of them, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance for those behind it. Additionally, the beating of the wings creates lift for the others, reducing the energy required for each bird to fly for long distances. Not only that, but they take turns leading the formation, so that no single bird is tasked with providing all that energy all the time.
Another wonderful fact about the Canada Goose is that they mate for life at around two years of age. Once they have mated and had chicks they become extremely protective of their brood – becoming aggressive with any interlopers, including humans.
Watch for the flying V in the spring, when the geese head back north for mating season!