The Bernicale Goose
 Morris's British Birds 1891
 Scanned by www.BirdCheck.co.uk
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Bernicale Goose
Image Title: Bernicale Goose
Description: Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)

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Status and distribution Within the region breeds only on Svalbard and Novaya Zemlya, with small, recently established breeding populations around the Baltic mainly on Oland, Gotland and in Estonia. Has also recently begun to breed in Denmark. The only other population is just outside the region in eastern Greenland.

Birds from all three areas migrate to winter in Europe. Greenland birds move to Iceland and then on to western Scotland, mainly the Hebrides, and Ireland. The Svalbard population follows the Norwegian coast southwards and crosses the North Sea to winter in the Solway Firth. Birds from Novaya Zemlya cross the White and Baltic Seas to spend the winter in the Netherlands. Generally present on breeding grounds mid May-mid Sep.

Although breeding has occurred (regularly in Britain) and many birds are seen outside these areas even as far south as North Africa, the vast majority are considered to be escapes.


Habitat A colonial breeder on cliffs and crags, sometimes islands, often near colonies of gulls or the nest of a Gyrfalcon, presumably for protection. In winter grazes on coastal pastures, roosting on lakes and rivers.

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