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Conservation status: Amber

A medium-sized, sociable goose, with black head, neck and breast with creamy-white face, which contrasts with the white belly, blue-grey barred back and black tail. It flies in packs and long lines, with a noisy chorus of barking or yapping sounds.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Branta leucopsis

Family

Swans, ducks and geese (Anatidae)

Where to see them

Largest numbers on the Solway Firth (England and Scotland) and on Islay, Scotland.

When to see them

October until March.

What they eat

Leaves, stems, roots and seeds.

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
>370,000 wintering900 pairs58,000 from the Greenland breeding population, 33,000 from Svalbard in northern Russia and 3,000 from the feral UK populations-

Distribution

Key

In the UK
West of Scotland, especially Solway Firth and Islay.
In Europe
Spitzbergen (breeding), Scotland, Ireland and Netherlands (wintering)
Worldwide
Greenland, Spitzbergen and N Russia (breeding), W Europe (wintering)

Audio