The photograph of the strange goose sparked a heated discussion on social media. Nobody could understand what the bird was really doing.
Amateur photographer Vincent Gornelissen did not believe his eyes when he noticed a wild goose in the sky above Arnhem performing a strange maneuver. The bird quickly descended a zigzag path and suddenly flew away on its back. Vincent barely had time to film what happened and then posted it on social media.
The fun photo immediately attracted the attention of users and since the beginning of the year it is actively discussed in many forums.
Gornelissen has received thousands of messages from strangers around the world with their own versions of what is happening in the photo. But none of them knew exactly why the goose flew on its back.
The situation became clearer when Lars Sorerik, an expert, naturalist photographer and scientific correspondent of the Society for the Protection of Birds in the Netherlands, joined the discussion on the Gornelissen page. In his opinion, it was a male goose, most likely a young male who wanted to show himself in front of other geese and show them new tricks. « As soon as geese learn to fly, they wonder what else they can do in the air and how far they can go, » Sorerik said. « They do it to impress their comrades, as if they want to say, « Look what I can do! »
« Whistling » or « whistling flight » is a well-known phenomenon in ornithology. It is used to describe the behavior of some wild birds when they fly zigzag, gliding sideways. For a short time, they can rotate the body 180 degrees, leaving the head in its natural position. This movement resembles the path of a falling dry leaf. « Whistling flight » can be seen in a variety of birds.
Moreover, a photo accidentally taken by Gornelissen turned out to be useful for the scientific community. So now a professor at Istanbul University is using it to explain the laws of aerodynamics to students.