You've never seen geese like this before!
Christian Moullec was a meteorologist, but he found his true calling later in life when he realized that his feathery friends needed his help. He took to flight to help lead birds to greener pastures, so that their numbers could increase and the species could thrive.
Christian began raising orphaned geese, treating them like members of his own family. Then, he devised a plan to make them follow him as he led them along safer migration routes.
Not only is he doing a great thing for the animals, his incredible footage is a unique, astounding sight to behold.
Becoming a Family
In 1995, Christian realized that Lesser white-fronted geese were dwindling. Human interference in their migration from Germany to Sweden was slowly killing them off. “A third of wild birds have disappeared from Europe during the last 30 years, because of man. It’s a disaster,” he explained to National Geographic.
He started learning about migrating birds and came across the scientific writings of Konrad Lorenz. The Austrian ethologist discovered how to imprint baby ducks by imitating the sounds of a mother duck when they were born. Christian took Lorenz’s findings and taught himself to imprint on his geese in need. Soon, they began to follow him everywhere. He just had to figure out a way to get them to follow him in the sky.
To the Skies
He explained that the geese were difficult to convince to follow him when they needed to fly. However, he kept working with them in order to gain their trust. He adapted an ultra-light aircraft which finally helped Christian successfully lead the geese on safer migration routes from March to October.
Christian has been able to capture his flights on camera, which he publishes in order to get people to understand the importance of his work. “My beautiful images with flying birds should be used to tell this story,” he said. “The famous French writer Victor Hugo said that the beautiful is more useful than the useful, so I hope that the beautiful images of my birds in flight will be useful to migratory birds and to humans.”
Not only has Christian successfully lead the geese since the ‘90s, he also takes paying customers on his flights for up to 35 minutes at a time. Along the migration trails, the passengers are able to see breath-taking views of landscapes and castles.
Christian describes the flights as being so incredible that they can be emotional. “The flight inspires in me a huge respect for nature and I can communicate this respect to my passengers,” he stated. “There are also people with disabilities and those who want to experience a great time in the sky with the birds before leaving this world.”
“It is an overwhelming spiritual experience,” he added.
Christian’s entire family has been helping with the project from imprinting the ducklings to flying them to safety. He happily recounted his favorite flight during his telling interview.
“My favorite was a big flight with 33 lesser white-fronted geese, from northern Sweden to southwestern Germany,” he shared. “My wife was on board with me and she was [five months pregnant and] expecting our first son. The trip lasted five weeks.”
Christian hopes to keep flying with his birds “for the success of the reintroduction project of lesser white-fronted geese in the wild.”
SHARE this story of mankind helping animals with your friends, and tell us if you would ever take flight with Christian and his feathered friends in the comments!