Bar headed geese who migrate annually south from their breeding ground in Mongolia to southern Tibet or India may not be a serene lot but have a lot of fun on their way. Migrating Geese use mountains like roller coasters according to a new study. Bar headed geese us the mountain wind updrafts by flying close to the mountainous terrain. The study has been published in the journal Science dated January 15.
Researchers implanted 30 geese with monitor that recorded heart rate, body movement, and altitude. Only seven geese ended by providing usable data. The results were surprising and contradicted notions about the bird’s migratory habits.
Lead researcher Charles Bishop from University of Bangor in a report by the Christian Science Monitor said, “At the beginning we were just puzzled that there were so few reports of very high flight over the last 60 years. We knew that these birds were especially well-adapted to fly in air containing very low oxygen, so we certainly expected to record some high flights. The question was how high did they normally fly? For how long? And how difficult were such flights? How close to the limit did they have to go?”
The notion that the bar-headed geese migrate mainly at high altitudes was contradicted and it was proved that the birds soar over the Himalayas and then fly close to the mountainous terrain in a roller coaster like pattern.