Why Do Birds Fly in a “V” Formation Revealed

birds in a v formationMy 8yo son and I were in the car today when we saw about 300 birds flying overhead.

“BIRDS!!!” he blurted out.

“If we’re lucky, we will see them flying in the “V” formation as they head south for the winter”, I responded in my daddy-teacher voice.

“Why do they fly in a “v”-formation?  Is it because “V” is the only letter they know how to spell?” he asked.

We laughed.

“it’s because the lead bird is the navigator bird, and all the other birds follow the lead bird and are just off to the side so that they can see where the lead bird is going and stay in formation.”

Sounded good, right?

Not so much.

My 8-year-old responded with this;

“Actually… The birds fly in the “V” formation for aerodynamics.  There is less drag on the flock if the fly like that.  The same reason airplanes won’t fly behind one another.  They need to be able to stay up in the air so they would fly off to the side.”

Errr, yeah.  That’s what I meant.


5 thoughts on “Why Do Birds Fly in a “V” Formation Revealed

  1. yardyspice November 8, 2013 / 2:26 am

    My five year-old asked me why they fly in a “V” and I said like any modern mom that we would youtube it. *Ducks* Your kid sounds awesome.


    • The Urban Daddy November 9, 2013 / 4:02 pm

      Hello Yardyspice. Thanks for the comment!

      I honestly never thought about checking YouTube which means I’m clearly not modern. 🙂

      If we had an encyclopaedia, I probably would have gone that way first, but I figured a little imagination plus a little confident sounding BS might do the trick.

      My wife, however is a science teacher so she must have had this conversation with him already. He killed me with his response. 🙂


  2. Ola November 6, 2013 / 1:21 pm

    Smart boy!


  3. Gerry Tsuji November 6, 2013 / 11:04 am

    Ya just can’t BS ’em like the old days.


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