I think that animals and nature can always teach us something if we dare to learn. Let’s discover what geese can teach us.
Geese are categorized as anseriformes, which include about 140 different species. A female is called a goose and a male a gander. A baby is called a gosling. A group of geese is called a gaggle. Though they are waterfowls they do like spending quite a bit of time on land. They love to eat mostly fertilized grass and spend most of the daytime doing just that.1
Geese fly together in what is called a “V” formation or a wedge. This enables them to fly 70% better than if they fly solo.2 They make a honking noise, which symbolizes “encouragement” to whomever is leading the formation and when the goose or gander who is at the point position tires or sickens, another one in the formation moves into that post so the one who needs rest can fall back.3
Geese are very caring for one another and feel more secure when together as a gaggle. If one in the gaggle becomes ill, some will leave the formation with that one and remain with it until it heals or passes on.4
Geese mate for life and if a partner dies, the surviving partner will mourn and go into seclusion. They often remain single for a very long time and sometimes even until they die.5
When the goose lays her eggs, she makes certain that they are well covered, keeping them hidden from predators and the gander stands guard over them. Both parents participate in raising their gosling, which is why scientists claim that the offspring of geese are expected to have long lives.6
When the goslings hatch, the parents immediately lead them to the water so they learn to become acclimated to it, sooner rather than later.
Geese are certainly extraordinary birds who seem to have a great regard for one another. Their loyalty to support each other when challenges arise and the flying gets tough is a lesson we can take from them.
The fact that both parents raise their gosling is most certainly another important practice that we people need to note, especially because this parenting increases the life expectancy of the geese’s progeny.
One of my favorite lessons from geese is how they remain with the one who is sick or dying until the very end. When I think of how many individuals are sent away to nursing homes, forgotten and overlooked, this act of compassion and benevolence from birds is most amazing and most definitely something that we humans should exercise more of.
The next time you come across geese or look above and see a “V” formation, maybe it’s a sign that it is time to make a call of encouragement to someone who needs it and cheer that person on.
1 Http://www.interestingfunfacts.com/author/ritu. “Cool Facts About Goose.” Interestingfunfactscom. 2012. Accessed September 19, 2016. http://www.interestingfunfacts.com/cool-facts-about-goose.html.
2 @peta. “The Hidden Lives of Ducks and Geese.” PETA. Accessed September 19, 2016. http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-food/factory-farming/ducks-geese/hidden-lives-ducks-geese/.
3 “Cool Facts About Geese.”