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CANADA GEESE SENTINELS



In winter feeding flocks of Canada Geese one or more individuals, depending
on the flock size, will act as sentinels (distinguished from other
nonfeeding flock members by their upright neck posture) while the rest of
the flock feeds.  So the sentinels have an opportunity to feed the role of
sentinel rotates among flock members.  I have personally observed this
behavior.  A good basic reference on winter flock behavior of Canada Geese
is D. G. Raveling's 1970 article "Dominance relationships and agonistic
behavior of Canada Geese in winter" which appeared in _Behavior_ v. 37, pp.
291-319.

Also there are specialized behaviors, vocalizations, and plumage features
that help synchronize take-off and inflight coordination of family groups
and flocks. There is more to flock dynamics than simple copying.

At 11:02 AM 2/22/97 -0600, you wrote:
>John Cys wrote:
>> 
>> At 05:28 PM 2/20/97 -0700, you wrote:
>> As I understand it,
>> >flocking behavior just involves copying what one bird is doing; it
>> >doesn't involve much strategy or innovative thinking that would be
>> >required in social hunting, a behavior apparantly restricted to a
>> >few fairly brainy birds.
>> >
>> >LN Jeff
>> >O-
>> >
>> THE SENTINEL BEHAVIOR OF FEEDING FLOCKS OF THE CANADA GOOSE IS AT LEAST ONE
>> ASPECT OF FLOCKING BEHAVIOR THAT DOES NOT FIT YOUR ABOVE STATEMENT.  WILL
>> SUPPLY DETAILS UPON REQUEST.
>
>Consider it requested.  Thanks in advance.
>
>Joe Daniel
>
John M. Cys                   "Descriptive cataloging,
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