Barnacle Goose

The Barnacle Goose has a black chest, neck and crown, with a cream-white face. The sexes are similar in appearance, but males typically are larger. The extension of black from the neck over the head gives the face a hooded appearance. The upper back is black, shading posterior to silver-gray. The breast, sides and flanks are a pale gray and the belly, under-tail coverts and rump are white, contrasting markedly with the large black tail. The bill, legs and feet are black. The Barnacle goose breeds along the northeast coast of Greenland, Svalbard, Norway and Novaya Zemlya, and adjacent Vaygach Island, Russia. The Greenland population of barnacle geese winter in Ireland and the Inner and Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The Svalbard population largely winters in the Solway Firth between England and Scotland. The Russian population winters in the Netherlands and Germany.


Barnacle Goose in Flight

Barnacle Goose in Flight

Nesting Barnacle Goose

Nesting Barnacle Goose

Appearance: – This Goose has a creamy-white face with a black streak from the beak to the eye, and glossy black crown, neck, and breast. The back and wings are dark silver-grey, with black and white bars, with paler grey-white under-parts, and white belly. The small delicate beak is black. Both sexes are alike.

Size: – Typical Adult is -24-27 inches.

Food: – Mostly grasses, leaves, and seeds.

Habitat: – Coastal grasslands, and marshes in Arctic islands of north Atlantic, Greenland, Baltic islands, and winters in Scotland, northern England, and Netherlands.

Breeding Season: – May to June.

Eggs: – 3 to 5 (creamy white).

Notes: – This Goose belongs to the Branta genus (Black Geese) and came by its name because it used to be a widely held belief that in the Summer it developed underwater in the form of barnacles. It was later revealed that these geese actually disappeared in the Summer because they were breeding in the Arctic regions. If a barnacle is broken open then it shows a distinct resemblance to a goose.

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