Branta leucopsis - Bernache nonnette
- Size: 71 cm
- Wingspan: 132 à 145 cm.
- Weight: 1300 à 2400 g
The Barnacle Goose is a small goose easily identified by its black neck and chest, pure white small head, grey striped back contrasting with a very pale underpart . There are some similitudes with the Canada Goose, but the latter has a longer neck.
Also, the Canada Goose has a pale or brown chest, never black.
The Barnacle Goose has a small triangular black beak, black legs and a white rump. In flight, wings look wide.
Subspecific information monotypic species
- Bernache nonnette,
- Barnacla cariblanca,
- Oca facciabianca,
- vitkindad gås,
- bernikla bielolíca,
- berneška bělolící,
- oca de galta blanca,
- bernikla białolica,
- baltvaigu zoss,
- belolična gos,
- Белощёкая казарка,
Voice song and cries
In summer, the Barnacle Goose frequents cliffs and the mass of fallen rocks of arctic islands. In winter, it lives in flooded meadows and coastal marshes, maritime bays low banks and mud flats at low tide.
Behaviour character trait
Three main groups, respectively coming from Greenland, Spitzberg and New Zemble start their migration end of August or beginning September.
Barnacle Geese fly in compact groups.
As well as barnacles and geese in general, the Barnacle Goose is mainly vegetarian. Grass is its main diet, although during summer, it can eat various maritime plants shoots. In winter, when grass is not as dense, Barnacle eat also seaweeds, aquatic insects, molluscs and shellfish.
The species eats anytime during the day and prefers the coastal zone grass, regularly flooded by water. If it's not possible, it turns off towards the meadows behind the coast.
Nidification season starts soon after returning in the Arctic. During the courtship display, the couples leap, stretching their neck and flapping their wings.
Threats - protection
IUCN conservation status
in the Wild
Conflicts with farmers is a common problem in wintering places. A shooting licence has been in place until very recently.
Sources of information
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published: 07-11-2002 - Updated: 28-01-2017
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