Look to the Sky - Canadian Geese
This is a great season to be (socially distancing) outside! Each day you will see a new piece of spring – and dare we say it; summer – coming into view. In the next few weeks look for large V formations crossing the sky. Canadian Geese are very noisy and showy when they make their migration. Some subspecies are called Cackling Geese which should let you know that you’ll probably hear them even before you see them! Canadian Geese are large birds with long dark necks and distinctive white marks on their cheeks, called a “chinstrap”.
Some of these birds will fly from as far north as the Arctic all the way to the southern United States and back again. Canadian Geese have an incredible sense of direction and memory. Not only will they migrate to the same breeding grounds each year, but they will also make identical stops along the way. God provides more than just food for these birds (Matthew 6:26). He also gives them the ability, endurance, and strength they need to perform the feat of migration each year. The scriptures are full of natural imagery and a deeper knowledge of creation adds depth to our understanding of God’s Word. Let’s use this “quarantine” time to get outdoors and get into the Word to see more of our amazing God!
Job 12:7-9 “But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens and they will tell you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?”
More fun facts about these big birds…
- The V formation Canadian Geese use while migrating helps lessen the strain of their long flight. The bird at the front of the V faces more wind resistance and the birds “drafting” behind face less. Birds rotate through the front position so that they can all fly longer before they need to stop and rest. This is a pretty remarkable example of teamwork, self-sacrifice, and community.
- In the 1930s there was a government sponsored push to try to increase the numbers of endangered Great Canadian Geese by releasing “residential” geese. The hope was that residential geese would become the focus of hunting and egg gathering instead of their wild counterparts. Today residential Canadian Geese are a common nuisance to their human neighbors. Canadian Geese love our manicured lawns and golf courses but we don’t love what they leave behind!
- Canadian Geese follow a pattern called “assortative mating”. This means that they will pick a mate of similar size so bigger geese will continue to have bigger and BIGGER babies, and smaller geese will have smaller and smaller babies.
- Canadian Geese mate for life. Pairs will separate from the flock to nest together, and then regroup after their clutch (nest of eggs) hatches and is ready to migrate north.
Learn more - https://www.allaboutbirds.org https://www.audubon.org.