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Barnacle Goose

Barnacle Goose

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Scientific Name:

Branta leucopsis


Arctic islands of the North Atlantic, winters in England and The Netherlands.


Vegetarian - leaves, grasses, sedges and aquatic plants, grains, vegetables.


Habitat: pasture land, salt marshes, grassy fields near coast. Build their nests in rocky areas and on hillsides near water sources.

Incubation: 24-25 days / 3-5 eggs

Social structure: groups of 5-50 pairs, occasionally up to 150 pairs.

Weight: max 2,4kg

Dimensions: max 71cm wing span: max 145cm

Lifespan: 18-25

Estimated population in the wild: common

Threats: Though fully protected today it was once exploited for its meat, eggs and down feathers. Disturbance by humans.

IUCN status: Least concern

Did you know that:

  1. During migration, they are presumed to utilize magnetic fields to direct their flights.
  2. Incubation is done by the female, while the male guards the nest and the female. During the incubation period the pair loses 30-40% of their body weight as they do not forage far away from the nest.


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