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Silhouette GeeseGeese
BrantBranta bernicla
  • ORDER: Anseriformes
  • FAMILY: Anatidae

Basic Description

The compact, rather short-necked Brant is an attractive small goose with a black head, white necklace, and rich brown body brightening to white under the tail. They winter in flocks in bays, estuaries, and lagoons, where they eat eelgrass and other aquatic vegetation. They nest in the Arctic in wetlands thick with grasses and sedges. Flocks give pleasing calls reminiscent of Sandhill Cranes, and the sounds carry for long distances. In recent decades, some Brant have begun to use upland fields, grazing on grass much as Canada Geese do.

More ID Info
image of range map for Brant
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Look for Brant in winter in saltmarsh lagoon systems, bays, and sounds. They feed most heavily at lower and falling tides, when eelgrass beds are within reach. In some places, Brant have become regular visitors to golf courses and parks where hunting is not permitted. In such places they may tolerate fairly close approach; otherwise they are quite skittish. Bring or borrow a spotting scope to get the best views of their beautiful plumages.

Other Names

  • Barnacla Carinegra (Spanish)
  • Bernache cravant (French)
  • Cool Facts