Fly Like a… Bar-Headed Goose?

Have you ever seen a movie where birds are flying directly next to an airplane? Probably, but obviously in the real world, it could never happen. However, there are some birds that do fly above those nimbus clouds.

The bar-headed goose. Magnificent and graceful, these geese migrate over Mount Everest every winter.

Mount Everest capped off at 29,028 feet has a very low density of air. Since the air is so thin, it is extremely difficult for birds to “flap”. The bar-headed geese in fact have to flap harder and more vigorously to make sure that they stay afloat and balanced.

Wide Wingspan

Surprisingly, these geese manage to fly thousands of miles in a day, if they are lucky. Jet streams blow directly over the highest mountain on this planet at over 200 mph. Birds that fall into this jet stream are usually ripped apart and die from lack of oxygen or are blown off course by cross winds.

What makes the bar-headed goose so special?

Actually, they are special. Bar-headed geese have an incredibly large wingspan, which helps them “catch” the air at high altitudes. Bar-headed geese also have a special type of hemoglobin that allows them to absorb oxygen at alarming rates while they are at alarming altitudes. This combined with their extreme flapping vigor allows them to travel extremely far distances with the wind pushign them along their back.

The bar-headed geese is the highest flying bird and most likely the highest flying creature on the planet.

They fly so high, they make Far East Movement look bad.

1. The High Life

2. Bar-Headed Goose

One Comment

Lorena Barba posted on October 21, 2011 at 7:27 pm

OMG, that video is absolutely hilarious!
I think this is the same guy that jumped from a hot-air balloon with a peregrine falcon, right?