name = Brent Goose
status = LC
status_system = iucn3.1
image_width = 240px
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
genus = "
species = "B. bernicla"
binomial = "Branta bernicla"
binomial_authority = (Linnaeus,
The Brent Goose ("Branta bernicla"), a
gooseof the genus"Branta", is known in North Americaas Brant. The spelling "Brant" is the original one, with "Brent" being a later folk-etymological idea that it was derived from a classical Greek waterbird name "brenthos". It is in fact onomatopoeic, derived from the guttural call note of the species. For the origin of the scientific name "bernicla", see Barnacle Goose.
The Brent Goose is a small
goose, about 60 cm long and with a short, stubby bill. The under-tail is pure white, and the tail black and very short (the shortest of any goose).
The species is divided three subspecies:
* Dark-bellied Brent Goose "Branta bernicla bernicla"
* Pale-bellied Brent Goose "Branta bernicla hrota" (sometimes also known as Light-bellied Brent Goose in Europe, and Atlantic Brant in North America)
Black Brant"Branta bernicla nigricans"
Some DNA evidence suggests that these forms are genetically distinct; while a split into three separate species has been proposed, it is not widely accepted, with other evidence upholding their maintenance as a single species.
The body of the dark-bellied form is fairly uniformly dark grey-brown all over, the flanks and belly not significantly paler than the back. The head and neck are black, with a small white patch on either side of the neck. It breeds on the Arctic coasts of central and western
Siberiaand winters in western Europe, with over half the population in southern England, the rest between northern Germanyand northern France.
The Pale-bellied Brent Goose appears blackish-brown and light grey in colour. The body is different shades of grey-brown all over, the flanks and belly are significantly paler than the back and present a marked contrast. The head and neck are black, with a small white patch on either side of the neck. It breeds in
Franz Josef Land, Svalbard, Greenlandand northeastern Canada, wintering in Denmark, northeast England, Strangford Loughin Northern Irelandand the Atlantic coast of the U.S. from Maineto Georgia.
The Black Brant appears blackish-brown and white in colour. This form is a very contrastingly black and white bird, with a uniformly dark sooty-brown back, similarly-coloured underparts (with the dark colour extending furthest back of the three forms) and a prominent white flank patch; it also has larger white neck patches, forming a near-complete collar. It breeds in northwestern
Canada, Alaskaand eastern Siberia, and wintering mostly on the west coast of North Americafrom southern Alaskato California, but also some in east Asia, mainly Japan.
The Asian populations of the Black Brant populations had previous been regarded as a separate subspecies "orientalis" based on purported paler upperparts coloration; however, it is generally now believed that this is not correct.
A fourth form (known variously as Gray Brant, Intermediate Brant or Grey-bellied Brent Goose) has been proposed, although no formal subspecies description has been made as yet, for a population of birds breeding in central Arctic Canada (mainly Melville Island), and wintering in the
Puget Soundon the American west coast around the U.S./Canada border. These birds are intermediate in appearance between Black Brant and Pale-bellied Brent, having brown upperparts and grey underparts which give less of a contrast with the white flank patch. Given that this population exhibits mixed characters, it has also been proposed that, rather than being a separate subspecies, it is actually a result of interbreeding between these two forms.
It used to be a strictly
coastal bird in winter, seldom leaving tidal estuaries, where it feeds on eel-grass (" Zostera marina") and the seaweed, sea lettuce("Ulva"). In recent decades, it has started using agricultural land a short distance inland, feeding extensively on grassand winter-sown cereals. This may be behaviour learnt by following other species of geese. Food resource pressure may also be important in forcing this change, as the world population has risen over tenfold to 400-500,000 by the mid 1980s, possibly reaching the carrying capacityof the estuaries. In the breeding season, it uses low-lying wet coastal tundrafor both breeding and feeding. The nest is bowl-shaped, lined with grass and down, in an elevated location, often in a small pond.
The Brent Goose is one of the species to which the "Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds" (
* Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
*"Wildfowl" by Madge and Burn, ISBN 0-7470-2201-1
*Shields, G. F. (1990). Analysis of mitochondrial DNA of Pacific Black Brant. "The Auk" 107: 620-623.
*Syroechkovski, E. E., Zöckler, C. & Lappo, E. (1998). Status of Brent Goose in northwestern Yakutia, East Siberia. "Brit. Birds" 91: 565-572.
* Ebels, E. B. (1997) Identification of brent geese: a new feature. "
Dutch Birding" 19(5): 232-236 (highlights the difference in belly colour between the various forms)
* [http://www.birdguides.com/html/vidlib/species/Branta_bernicla.htm Birdguides Brent Goose Page]
* [http://www.rspb.org.uk/birds/guide/b/brentgoose/index.asp RSPB A to Z of Uk Birds]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/animals/birds/supergoose/index.shtml BBC Supergoose]
* [http://www.bird-stamps.org/cspecies/2702870.htm Stamps] (for
Canada, Germany, Germany-west, Jersey)
* [http://ibc.hbw.com/ibc/phtml/especie.phtml?idEspecie=433 Brent Goose videos] on the Internet Bird Collection
* [http://vireo.acnatsci.org/search.html?Form=Search&SEARCHBY=Scientific&KEYWORDS=branta+bernicla&showwhat=images&AGE=All&SEX=All&ACT=All&Search=Search&VIEW=All&ORIENTATION=All&RESULTS=24 Brant photo gallery] VIREO
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Look at other dictionaries:
brent goose — noun small dark geese that breed in the north and migrate southward • Syn: ↑brant, ↑brant goose, ↑brent • Hypernyms: ↑goose • Hyponyms: ↑common brant goose, ↑Branta bernicla … Useful english dictionary
Brent Goose — paprastoji berniklė statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Branta bernicla angl. Brent Goose vok. Ringelgans … Paukščių anatomijos terminai
brent goose — paprastoji berniklė statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Branta bernicla angl. brent goose vok. Ringelgans, f rus. чёрная казарка, f pranc. bernache cravant, f ryšiai: platesnis terminas – berniklės … Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas
brent goose — noun A small member of the goose family (Anatidae) … Wiktionary
brent goose — noun a small northern goose with a mainly black head and neck. [Branta bernicla.] Origin ME: of unknown origin … English new terms dictionary
brent goose — noun Date: 1570 chiefly British brant … New Collegiate Dictionary
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