Red Breasted Goose
The Red Breasted Goose breeds in Arctic Siberia, mainly on the Taymyr Peninsula, with smaller populations in the Gydan and Yamal peninsulas. However, since it is common in captive wildfowl collections, escapees outside its usual range are fairly frequent. It was considered a Vulnerable species by the IUCN. Over 80% of the population roost during the winter at just five sites, with nearby feeding areas threatened by changes in land use. In addition, there has been a strong decline in numbers in the last decades. As it is not clear to what extent the known population fluctuates in this species as in other Arctic geese and given the worsening outlook for the species as a whole, the red breasted goose was up-listed from a species of Least Concern to Endangered status in the 2007 IUCN Red List.
Appearance: – This Goose has dark sooty black upper-parts, neck, face, and throat with white patches between the eye & beak, white stripes behind the eye & neck, white band encircling the fore-body, and distinctive chestnut-red on cheeks, fore-neck, and breast. Tail coverts are white and the tail black. Legs, feet, and beak are grey-black. Both sexes look similar.
Size: – Typical Adult is 21-22 inches.
Food: – Grasses, wheat, barley, and maize.
Habitat: – Tundra, wooded tundra, and lakes in Arctic Europe, and south-eastern Europe. Rarer in western Europe and UK.
Breeding Season: – From early June.
Eggs: – 3 to 8 (creamy-white with greenish-tinge).
Notes: – This Goose belongs to the Branta genus (Black Geese). It has declined in numbers over the last few decades. These Geese breed in Arctic Europe and often build their nests close to birds of prey such as the Snowy Owl, Peregrine, and Buzzard to keep themselves protected from predators such as the Arctic fox.