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Dark-bellied brent goose

What am I?

I am a goose, although I am only the size of a duck!

Where do I come from?

I breed in the tundra of Siberia, I fly 3,000 miles to spend the winter here.

A bit about me

My favourite food is seagrass, which grows in the sea. You can see me “bottoms-up” in the water feeding on this tasty plant just like a duck. When the seagrass runs out I move onto fields to eat the grass. We fly in a V-formation which helps us fly faster as it reduces wind drag. When flying overhead you will hear us chattering away to each other. I often get mistaken for a Canadian Goose, who also appear black and white. The best way to tell us apart is by our size, I am much smaller. My friends the Canadian geese also have a broad white chin strap which I don’t think is very fashionable!

Local spotlight

We start to arrive in October and by January there are around 25,000 of us across the Solent. 10% of our global population spend the winter on the Solent coast!

Conservation status

I’m amber listed in the UK

I’m a qualifying feature for the Solent and Southampton Water, Portsmouth Harbour and Chichester and Langstone Harbours Special Protection Areas – that means, when the sites were designated, a nationally significant number of us used these awesome coastlines in the winter!

Fun fact

I am famed for stopping the development of an airport on Foulness! Now the area remains a wildlife sanctuary for me and my friends.