British Waterfowl Association

Barnacle Goose

Barnacle Geese nesting – Ian Gereg
portrait of a Barnacle goose
Barnacle Goose – Morag Jones
wild Barnacle Geese on Islay
Barnacle Geese on Islay – David Tomlinson

Branta leucopsis

Barnacle Geese are popular amongst wildfowl collections with their striking looks. The Barnacle Goose is distinguished by its white face, black head, neck and breast, together with white belly. All geese need adequate grazing, but Barnacles will adapt to smaller enclosures than some.

Barnacle Geese are highly vocal, with a yapping note. Although easily tamed, they can be more liable to panic than most geese.

In the wild, Barnacle Geese are often very active at night, continuing on to feed in the dark. Their habitat is tidal flats, coastal marshes and adjoining grazing areas. As a defence against predators, they frequently breed in colonies, selecting inaccessible slopes and cliff tops as their nesting ground. The resilience of a Barnacle Goose chick is extraordinary.

Barnacle Goose – Sue Chase

Barnacle Geese breed readily from their third year, laying clutches of 4-6 eggs with an incubation period of 25 days.