Barnacle Goose

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Barnacle Goose
Conservation status: Secure
Barnacle Goose
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Anseriformes
Family:Anatidae
Genus:Branta
Species:B. leucopsis
Binomial name
Branta leucopsis
Bechstein, 1803

Template:Taxobox begin synonyms Template:Taxobox synonym entry simple Template:Taxobox end synonyms

The Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) belongs to the Branta genus of geese, which contains species with largely black plumage, distinguishing them from the grey Anser species.

The English name of this species, and the scientific name of the Brent Goose (B. bernicla) and the Goose Barnacle, come from the old fable that Barnacle Geese were produced from barnacles (Lepadidae), organisms that grow on timber exposed to salt water. This was logical since these geese were never seen in summer, when they were supposedly developing underwater. The legend was also convenient, because it enabled Catholics to classify these geese as fish and therefore to eat their flesh during Lent.

The Barnacle Goose is easily identified by its largely black plumage and white face. Its call is a "kaw".

This species breeds on the Arctic islands of Novaya Zemlya, Svalbard and Greenland and winters in northwest Europe.

The most amazing thing about this bird occurs when the goslings are just three days old. The parents build their nests high in the mountains; away from predators but also away from food. Instead of bring the food to the newly hatched geese, the goslings are sent to the ground. Unable to fly, the three day old babies jump off the cliff and fall. With nothing to protect them, the goslings hit the ground. Only 50% of goslings survive the fall.

Missing image
Barnacle_Geese_Fac_simile_of_an_Engraving_on_Wood_from_the_Cosmographie_Universelle_of_Munster_folio_Basle_1552.png
Barnacle Geese.--Fac-simile of an Engraving on Wood, from the "Cosmographie Universelle" of Munster, folio, Basle, 1552.
bg:Белобуза гъска

de:Weiwangengans nl:Brandgans ja:カオジロガン pl:Bernikla białolica

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