National Geographic : 1957 Dec
819 Painting by National Geographic Artist Walter A. Weber Tailflaps Down, Visitors Brake for a Landing After an Evening Banquet in a Cornfield Primarily grazers, undisturbed geese observe mealtime with clocklike regularity. Feeding flocks post sentinels to warn of danger. Some Canada geese, as in Montana's Flathead Valley, seldom migrate; others seasonally wing nearly 4,000 miles between breeding and wintering grounds. The familiar V-shape of flocks in flight gives the rear birds an unobstructed view while their leader breaks trail through the air. One captive honker lived 33 years, but at least 30 percent of those in the wild never reach their first birthday. A midsummer molt leaves geese earthbound for nearly a month (page 827).