Phenomena

Whiffling Geese

A goose flying upside down with its head turned 180 degrees, otherwise known as whiffling.

This wild photograph shows a goose flying upside down with its head turned 180 degrees in a behavior known as whiffling. In this orientation, the bird’s typical lift characteristics are reversed, but as you can see in the video below, this doesn’t exactly make them fall out of the sky. I suspect the geese compensate by changing their angle of attack (unless descending rapidly is their goal). There are numerous theories as to why the birds whiffle, including escaping hunters by using an erratic flight path or just showing off to the other geese. Maybe they’re just out to have a little fun! (Image credit: V. Cornelissen; video credit: Flightartists Project; via Colossal; submitted by jpshoer)

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