Binomial name: Anser indicus
The bar-headed geese are the world’s highest migrating birds…In its Himalayan flight, the bar-headed goose has been recorded flying at heights of more than 24,000 feet!!!
What is more remarkable is that despite the presence of tail winds (in the same direction of travel as the geese) which would enable them to just soar, the bar-headed geese spurn the winds, waiting for them to die down overnight. That is when they undertake the arduous task of a climbing flight…
How do they do it??
The bar-headed geese have fantastic physiological adaptations to help them deal with the hypoxia, i.e., low oxygen conditions.
- Larger wingspan.
- Better vasculature of the flight muscles.
- Efficient lungs with better O2 extraction capabilities.
- Their haemoglobin is adapted to load more O2.
- Capability to hyperventilate and suffer no ill effects.
- Ability to increase cardiac output.
They have been known to continually flap their wings, at times even for as long as 17 hours at a go…!!!
The bar-headed geese migrate to our good old Pune every winter from Central Asia and Europe and can been seen in decent numbers around Veer dam and Bhigwan (Ujani backwaters).
– Until the next post…Ciao friends!!!