Monday, January 14, 2002
If you're a photographer, you love seagulls. They soar so gracefully, almost like they're posing for the camera. They're beautiful - when they're alone. When they're together, they are not so beautiful. One gets on a perch, another comes to knock him off. One gets some food, others attack him for it. Scientists put a red band on the leg of one seagull to find out what happened, and he was pecked to death by the other gulls because he had something they didn't. Now contrast that with those Canada Geese some of us see migrating in the Spring and the Fall. They do everything together. Studies show that those geese almost always travel together, usually in those familiar V-formations. They rotate who's in front so one bird doesn't wear out. Now, if one Canada goose is injured and can't go on, another goose will stay with him until he's ready to join another flock - they're never left alone. The scientists even believe that the honking that we hear is actually the geese cheerleading for each other - "Honk! You can make it!" "Honk! Mexico or bust!"