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Barnacle goose

What am I?

I am medium sized goose.

Where do I come from?

I mainly come from Greenland, Svalbard, and Northern Russia but there are some feral populations in the UK that are present all year.

A bit about me

I am a sociable bird with a distinctive white face and belly. Unlike the similar looking Canada goose, I have no brown colouring at all on my feathers. I feed on roots, stems, leaves, and seeds – very healthy! You’re most likely to see me on salt marshes in Scotland, Northern England, and Northern Ireland.

Local spotlight

We are found in small numbers around the Solent throughout the year.

Conservation status

I’m amber listed in the UK

My name might not be listed in the Solent’s Special Protection Areas but I am still definitely important for the coastal ecosystem and form part of the non-breeding waterbird assemblages which these regions are protected for.

Fun fact

Before people understood seasonal migration, they thought that we hatched each winter from goose barnacles in the sea! That’s how we got our name.