The Brent Goose (Branta bernicla)

 

The Brent Goose belongs to the arctic circle breeding geese species and has a circumpolar distribution, breeding in tundra and polar deserts. Its return to the breeding areas correlates with the snow melt in the arctic circle. Three acknowledged subspecies are knwon.

 

The subspecies are:

  • Branta bernicla bernicla - the dark-bellied Brent Goose
  • Branta bernicla hrota - the light-bellied Brent Goose
  • Branta bernicla nigricans - also known as the Pacific Brent Goose - the smallest and the black-bellied Brent Goose

All in all there are seven flyaway populations knwon. The nominate dak-bellied "bernicla" breed in the high-arctic Siberia and migrate to via the Baltic Sea to wintering areas along the Atlantic and Northsea Coast from Denmark down to France, also wintering in the southeast of England. The light-bellied "hrota" which originates from the East Atlantic and breed in Northeast Greenland, Svalbard and Franz-Joseph-Land winter in Denmark, the northeast of England, the east of Scotland and also - in severe Winters - in the coastal areas of the Netherlands (in the Wadden Sea area). The "hrota" from the east Canadian and northwestern Greenland high-arctic circle fly away via Iceland to winter in Ireland, the west of Scotland, Wales, the southwest of England, Channel Islands and Normandy

The "nigricans" Brent Goose breeds on the East Siberian shoreline, on the New Siberian Islands and on Wrangel Island. Its flyaways lead them along the Siberian shoreline to the North American Pacific coast and southwards down to California, along the river Lena southwards to East Asia.

 

Voice: A soft, throaty "rronk" or "rruk", also various lesser conversational notes. Flock makes distinctive growling noise.

 

Habitat: maritime outside breeding season, frequenting coasts and estuaries where Zostera weeds abounds. Breeds sociably on high rocky tundra and islets off the arctic coast.

 

brent geese branta bernicla
Brent Geese on water
brent goose branta bernicla
Two Brent Geese swimming on water
brent goose branta bernicla
Brent Goose

brent goose branta bernicla
Troop of Brent Geese on water in the Wadden Sea
brent goose branta bernicla
Brent Geese on the Wadden Sea coast
brent goose branta bernicla
Brent Geese

brent goose branta bernicla
A large flight of Brent Geese on the Waddensea coast line

 

References - Further Reading

 

  • Bauer, Hans-Günther, Bezzel, Einhard et. al. (HG), Kompendium der Vögel Mitteleuropas, Band 1, Sonderausgabe 2012, Aula Verlag, Wiebelsheim
  • Bauer, Hans-Günther, Bezzel, Einhard et. al. (HG), Kompendium der Vögel Mitteleuropas, Band 3, Literatur und Anhang, Aula Verlag Wiebelsheim, 2. vollständig überarbeitete Auflage 1993
  • Bezzel, Einhard, Kompendium der Vögel Mitteleuropas, Non-Passeriformes, Band 1, Aula Verlag Wiesbaden, 1985

    Bruun/Singer/König, Der Kosmos Vogelführer, Franck'sche Verlagshandlung Stuttgart, 5. Auflage 1982

  • Glutz von Blotzheim, Urs et. al (HG), Handbuch der Vögel Mitteleuropas, Band 2, Anseriformes (1. Teil), Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, Wiesbaden, 1979, Nachdruck der Auflage von 1968
  • Syroechkovski, E.E., Zöckler, C., Lappo, E., Status of Brent Goose in northwest Yakutia, East Siberia, In: British Birds Rarities Committee vol. 91 no. 12: pages 565-572, December 1998
  • Svenson, Lars et. al, Der Kosmos Vogelführer, Franck-Kosmos Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart, 2. Auflage 2011
  • Svenson, Lars, Mullarney, Killian et al, Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europa, HarperCollins Glasgow, Second Edition 2010
  • Uspenski, S.M. Dr. habil, Die Wildgänse Nordeurasiens, Die Neue Brehm Bücherei, Band 352, A. Ziemsen Verlag Wittenberg Lutherstadt, 1965

 

  • Bundesamt für Naturschutz: Nationaler Vogelschutzbericht 2019 gemäß Artikel 12 Vogelschutzrichtlinie, Berichtsdaten aus dem Abschnitt O...Roh Wintergäste (pdf download)

 

 


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