Geese Set World Speed Record
The impressive bar-headed goose has set world records for speed after new research revealed that the birds, which migrate over the Himalayas every year, reach the height of Mount Everest from sea level in just eight hours! Unlike many geese bar-headed birds don’t stop flying once, climbing between 0.8 and 2.2 kilometres per hour of flight. The lead authors of the study from Bangor University in Wales noted that the geese will only stop if confronted with particularly stormy or gusty conditions.
Incredibly, rather than relying on updrafts and tailwinds to help them on their way, bar-headed geese seem to prefer flying in the morning when there is less wind. The speed at which they climb in altitude would be unbearable for humans and many animals who need to acclimatise first, bit by bit. But the Bar-headed goose already has all the physiological adaptations it needs to take on such an arduous migration: their muscles use oxygen more efficiently than other birds, and their lungs are proportionally much bigger than other ducks, geese and swans.