Barnacle Goose

Branta leucopsis

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

BARG

Code 6

BRALEU

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Barnacle Goose is native to numerous countries, including several throughout Europe. This bird can also be found in the United States as well. The range of this bird around the world is estimated to be as much as 100,000 square kilometers with a population of almost half a million. The rating of the Barnacle Goose at this time is Least Concern. Due to this bird species' population and range, there are not currently any concerns regarding extinction.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Barnacle Goose: Medium goose, distinctive white face, jet-black head, neck, and upper breast. Wings and back are silver-gray with black-and-white bars. Belly is white. V-shaped white rump patch and silver-gray underwing linings are visible in flight. Black bill,legs and feet. Strong direct flight.


Range and Habitat

Barnacle Goose: Breeds in Greenland and northern Eurasia. Spends winters in northern Europe and British Isles. Probably rare vagrant in northeastern North America, though many records are believed to be of escaped captive birds. Preferred habitats include arctic rivers and marshlands; winters on coastal marshes and grasslands.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"kaw"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • It was an important part of medieval cuisine; since it was believed to be produced from barnacles, Catholics classified these geese as fish and therefore could eat their flesh during Lent.
  • It was thought they developed from the Goose Barnacle. The confusion was prompted by the similarities in color and shape, and the fact that they appeared in different seasons.
  • The English name of the Barnacle Goose, and the scientific name of the Brent Goose (B. bernicla), come from the fable that Barnacle Geese were produced from barnacles.
  • A group of geese has many collective nouns, including a "blizzard", "chevron", "knot", "plump", and "string" of geese.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Barnacle Goose

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X