British Birds - Geese
Most of the birds that winter here come from Scandinavia but what type of geese are they?

British Birds - Geese

The term 'goose' applies to the female in particular while 'gander' applies to the male in particular. Young birds before fledging are called goslings. A group of geese on the ground is called a gaggle; when geese fly in formation, they are called a wedge or a skein.

To see a larger image, click on the picture.
1.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Adrian Pingstone
Greylag Goose
Red-breasted Goose
Pink-footed Goose
Brent Goose
  • Group: Ducks, Geese and Swans
  • Binomial: Branta ruficollis
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Status: Rare Vagrant
  • Breeds in Arctic Europe, often close to nests of large birds of prey.
  • This helps to protect this small goose from predators such as the Arctic Fox.
  • While wintering, the red-breasted goose feeds on grasses, leafs and seeds.
2.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Diliff
Brent Goose
Greylag Goose
Red-breasted Goose
Greater White-fronted Goose
  • Group: Ducks, Geese and Swans
  • Binomial: Anser anser
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Status: Resident Wild And Feral Populations, Winter Visitor
  • The ancestor of most domestic geese, this is the largest and bulkiest of the wild geese native to the UK and Europe.
  • Sometimes seen in suburban parks with lakes.
3.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Jerry Segraves
Greater Canada Goose
Greater White-fronted Goose
Barnacle Goose
Red-breasted Goose
  • Group: Ducks, Geese and Swans
  • Binomial: Anser albifrons
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Status: Winter Visitor
  • Weather conditions are a key factor in the breeding success of these geese.
  • In the Arctic, the window of opportunity for nesting, incubating eggs and raising a brood to flight state is open briefly, for about three months.
4.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of http://www.naturespicsonline.com/
Egyptian Goose
Snow Goose
Greater Canada Goose
Pink-footed Goose
  • Group: Ducks, Geese and Swans
  • Binomial: Branta canadensis
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Status: Resident Introduced Population, Some Wild Vagrants
  • It forms noisy flocks.
  • Adult geese are often seen leading their goslings in a line, usually with one parent at the front and the other at the back.
5.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of http://photo-natur.de/
Greylag Goose
Pink-footed Goose
Egyptian Goose
Brent Goose
  • Group: Ducks, Geese and Swans
  • Binomial: Branta bernicla
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Status: Winter Visitor
  • In the breeding season, it uses low-lying wet coastal tundra for both breeding and feeding.
  • The nest is bowl-shaped, lined with grass and down, in an elevated location, often in a small pond.
6.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Andrey
Egyptian Goose
Barnacle Goose
Bean Goose
Greater White-fronted Goose
  • Group: Ducks, Geese and Swans
  • Binomial: Branta leucopsis
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Status: Winter Visitor
  • A medium-sized, sociable goose.
  • It flies in packs and long lines, with a noisy chorus of yapping sounds.
  • The natural history of this goose was long surrounded with a legend claiming that they were born of driftwood.
7.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Adrian Pingstone
Snow Goose
Brent Goose
Bean Goose
Pink-footed Goose
  • Group: Ducks, Geese and Swans
  • Binomial: Anser fabalis
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Status: Winter Visitor
  • Most of the birds that winter here come from Scandinavia.
  • The best place in Britain to see them is the Yare Valley in Norfolk, which includes the RSPB's Mid-Yare nature reserves.
8.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of Walter Siegmund
Snow Goose
Bean Goose
Greater White-fronted Goose
Brent Goose
  • Group: Ducks, Geese and Swans
  • Binomial: Anser caerulescens
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Status: Resident Introduced Population, Some Wild Vagrants
  • When choosing a mate, young birds will most often select a mate that resembles their parents' colouring.
  • If the birds were hatched into a mixed pair, they will mate with either colour.
9.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of MPF
Egyptian Goose
Bean Goose
Barnacle Goose
Pink-footed Goose
  • Group: Ducks, Geese and Swans
  • Binomial: Anser brachyrhynchus
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Status: Winter Visitor
  • Large numbers of birds spend the winter here, arriving from their breeding grounds in Spitsbergen and Iceland.
  • Nesting is often on cliffs close to glaciers to provide protection from mammalian predators.
10.
What is the name of this bird?
Photograph courtesy of http://photo-natur.de/
Barnacle Goose
Egyptian Goose
Bean Goose
Pink-footed Goose
  • Group: Ducks, Geese and Swans
  • Binomial: Alopochen aegyptiaca
  • Order: Anseriformes
  • Family: Anatidae
  • Status: Resident Introduced Population
  • It was introduced as an ornamental wildfowl species and has escaped into the wild, now successfully breeding in a feral state.
  • It is found mainly in East Anglia, in parkland with lakes.
Author:  Sarah Garratty

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