This page shows wing growth over time for goslings. The adult molt is on the next page.

Page 3 of 4
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Stretching those tiny wing muscles.
[Young gosling has its head stretched forward as it flips its tiny wing muscles in the air while standing in the grass. Its wings muscles are fur covered as the gosling is way to young to have feathers.]

The wing muscles are growing along with the rest of the body.
[Two goslings stand in the grass. The one closer to the camera is in the same stretching pose as in the prior photo with the wing muscles noticeably larger.]

A gosling has better balance when running when its wing muscles are extended.
(A parent called and the whole crew came running!)
[Four goslings with their wings flared run through the grass behind an adult goose.]

A different view of the wings above.
[Looking from the hind end of a gosling with its fuzzy wings stretched vertical above its fuzzy brown body.]

A gosling appears to be doing the chicken dance.
[Side view of a fuzzy gosling as it walks from the right to the left and shakes its fully outstretched wings.]

At the edges of the wing are the beginning stems (bluish color) of the flight feathers.
[Top side view of a gosling stretching one leg back as it also stretches one wing muscles to the side. At the end of the wing are blueish hollow stems from which the feathers will emerge.]

The adult goose on the left has flight feathers which completely cover its white and brown tail end which is still visible on the goslings.
[This is a top down view of three goslings stand side by side with a fourth perpendicular to them. All four of these goslings have a white semicircle bordered by dark brown feathers on their rump ends. A mature goose to the left of them has only light brown feathers visible on its back.]

Close view of the new flight feathers emerging from the feather shafts.
[Close side view of the hind end of a gosling with feathers approximately an inch long emerging from about four shafts. Still a long way to go before this bird would become airborne.]

Lots of growing required before these wings can lift this gosling.
[Approximately 2 month old gosling faces the camera through a chain link fence with its wings stretched vertical above its back. The wings might be twice as long as its legs.]

Feathers have begun growing.
[A gosling stands upright with its wings spread fully. Tiny feathers are at the end of the wing muscles and there is lots of open space between them.]

The new feathers grow from blue shafts.
[A gosling stands facing the left on its right foot with its left foot in the air straight behind it and with the left wing outstretched toward the camera. At the end of the wing are dark feathers growing out from thin blue shafts. There are fuzzy brown patches on the end of the shaft opposite the feathers.]

Nearly a month later the feathers have grown significantly, but are still only about half the size of adult feathers.
[A gosling stands upright in the water with its wings spread fully. The wings look full, but the feathers are only about half the size of adult feathers.]

Continue to page 4 to see adult wing changes over time.

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