Monday, January 30, 2012

Upside down goose on the loose?

No, this photo is not a clever use of Photoshop. Geese and other birds really do sometimes fly upside down in order to brake when landing.

Here's a slow motion video of such a flight:

During flight, geese can twist their necks to flip their bodies upside down, while keeping their heads upright.

Now amateur videographers Hans de Koning and Lodewijk van Eekhout have captured the first slow-mo video of the manoeuvre, winning a prize in a competition organised by the Flight Artists group at Wageningen University. Known as whiffling, the move is often performed before landing as a means of braking. Upside down wings generate more drag causing a goose to slow down quickly, just like what happens when a plane is inverted during flight. 

New Scientist

Ain't reality grand?
I'm pooped today. More thoughtful blogging will resume tomorrow, I hope.


Kay Dennison said...

Thanks!!! I've been reading the usual ya-da, ya-da, yada and you just made my day better 'cause I learned something new and any day that I learn something new is a good day!!!

Ronni Bennett said...

Isn't it amazing that although this appears to be a common goose flying technique, it's been a secret to me until now. And maybe to most people. And it's fantastic to know this now. Thanks, Jan.

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