British Waterfowl Association

Red-breasted Goose

Red-breasted Geese standing on snow
Red-breasted Geese - Ian Gereg
3 Red-breasted Geese swimming
Red-breasted Geese - Morag Jones

Branta ruficollis

Red-breasted Geese are highly sought after in wildfowl collections and are now becoming more prolific in captivity. They have a beautiful and bold pattern of black, white and chestnut plumage and are the smallest of the northern geese.

During the breeding season Red-breasted Geese can be noisy, uttering a harsh and high pitched tone. Despite this they mix well with other waterfowl within a collection.

Red-breasted Geese are both agile fliers and more terrestrial than most northern geese. They overwinter and breed in a very limited number of sites in south eastern Europe.

Red-breasted goose nesting in reeds
Red-breasted Goose nesting in reeds - Barry Nicolle

Given space and areas where the nest can be defended, Red-breasted Geese can do well in a collection.

Red-breasted Geese are excellent parents - Barry Nicolle

Preferring the company of other Red-breasted Geese, they lay clutches of 3-7 eggs with an incubation period of 25 days. In the wild they nest in small colonies, often near Peregrine Falcons, which help to protect them from predators.