Branta ruficollis - Bernache à cou roux
- Size: 56 cm
- Wingspan: 116 à 135 cm.
- Weight: 1058 à 1625 g
The plumage of the Red-breasted Goose makes it easily recognizable due to its reddish, black, and white feathers. The adult has a black back, forebreast, upper head and nape. A white oval patch is between the eye and the bill. The eyes are dark brown with reddish cheeks surrounded by a white border extending downward to the neck. The neck and breast are also reddish red. The breast is separated from the rest of the body by a thin white band. A large white band is visible on the flank. Two distinct white bars are on the closed wing. The belly and undertail are white and the legs and short bill are black. Male and female are not dimorphic, except for the larger size of the male. The female is sometimes a bit more muted.
Juveniles are more muted with less defined areas. The reddish area of the cheeks is reduced and four to five narrow transverse white bands can be seen on the closed wing.
Newly-born are dark brown above and white below.
Subspecific information monotypic species
- Bernache à cou roux,
- Barnacla cuelliroja,
- vörösnyakú lúd,
- Oca collorosso,
- rödhalsad gås,
- bernikla červenokrká,
- berneška rudokrká,
- Rødhalset Gås,
- oca de coll roig,
- bernikla rdzawoszyja,
- sarkankakla zoss,
- rdečevrata gos,
- Краснозобая казарка,
Voice song and cries
The Red-breasted Goose nests in the tundra of northern Siberia. It can be found near water, on grassy banks. It winters in the southeastern steppes of Europe, on the shores of the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, and the Aral Sea. In winter, it is mostly found near lakes, reservoirs, and marshes. In wintering its range is much farther away from aquatic areas.
Behaviour character trait
The Red-breasted Goose typically builds its nest near an area inhabited by a Peregrine Falcon, a northern bustard or an eagle owl, providing it with protection against foxes and minks.
Unlike other geese, they fly in tight, unified flocks like starlings rather than in V-formations. Red-breasted Geese are birds that have the look and the flight of Grey Geese.
The Red-breasted Goose mainly feeds by grazing on the ground. It feeds on grasses, seeds, tubers, cereal germs and sometimes even aquatic plants.
In June, nest building begins on a slope or cliff. It is shallow and lined with dried grass and down feathers.
This species nests in the tundras of northern Russia, more precisely in the Taymyr, Gydan, and Yamal Peninsulas. Since the 1940s, it has shifted its wintering grounds to southeastern Europe, mainly Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine. It also appears irregularly and in small numbers in Hungary, Greece, and Turkey. Its total population is around 70,000 individuals. 30,000 to 40,000 Red-breasted Geese spend the winter in Romania, representing the majority of the world population.
Threats - protection
IUCN conservation status
in the Wild
Over the last ten years, the Red-breasted Goose has suffered a 56% decline in its population. The species is mainly affected by excessive and illegal hunting on wintering grounds as well as drainage of wetlands (cultivation). Oil exploration and climate change are threatening nesting areas.
Sources of information
- IOC World Bird List (v13.2), Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2023.
- Guide des canards, des oies et des cygnes, Steve Madge
- Guide des oiseaux de France et d'Europe, Roger Tory Peterson, Guy Mountfort, P. A. D (Phill
- Le guide ornitho : Le guide le plus complet des oiseaux d'Europe, d'Afrique du Nord et du Moyen-Orient : 900 espèces, Svensson, Mullarney, Zetterstrom
- Avibase, Lepage Denis
- BirdLife International, BirdLife International
Translation by AI Oiseaux.net
published: 01-02-2009 - Updated: 07-09-2009
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