Konrad Lorenz and his baby geese

Imprinting is a powerful instinct

Lorenz was one of the founding fathers of animal behaviour (ethology). He won a Nobel Prize for his work, sharing it with Nikolaas Tinbergen and Karl von Frisch..

He researched the area of ‘imprinting’- the behaviour of some animals, like birds, to identify a parent when they are very young, and then to follow this parent around whilst they are dependent on them.

Lonrenz identified he key time period during which baby geese ‘imprint’ the image of their parent. (12-17 hours after hatching).

Read more here and here.