How young white-fronted geese learn to migrate, new research

This video from California in the USA says about itself:

16 Jan 2012

Greater White-fronted Geese at Colusa National Wildlife Refuge forage in the tules, welcoming another flock of geese as they greet the morning sun.

Translated from Vroege Vogels TV in the Netherlands:

How do geese learn how to fly?

Young white-fronted geese follow their parents on their migration from the breeding grounds. This is well-known. But do the young birds also decide themselves when they will land to feed? And, when flying, do they always keep in the immediate vicinity of their parents? When do they leave their parents and go their own way?


To find answers to these questions white-fronted geese in the river region in North Brabant are caught in an old fashioned way. Then researchers affix small transmitters to the geese. In this way, they hope to get more insights about the migratory and family behaviour of the birds.


In the winter months, white-fronted geese stay in Netherlands: especially in Friesland, the rivers region, Zeeland and West Flanders in Belgium (the Zwin and the East Coast polders areas). They often occur in mixed groups with greylag geese, bean geese and barnacle geese.

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