Barnacle Goose

Barnacle Goose, Branta leucopsis,

Barnacle Geese are medium-sized yet delicate-looking geese. Their faces are white, their bills are short and black, their head, throat, and upper chest are black, their bellies are white, and their wings and back are silver-gray with black and white bars.

When in flight, v-shaped rumps and silver-gray linings are visible.

  • Branta leucopsis
  • Length: 23 – 28 in (58 – 71 cm)
  • Weight: 62.4 oz (1768 g)
  • Wingspan: 52 – 56 in (132 – 142 cm) 


Barnacle Geese breed and winter mainly in the North Atlantic but also in eastern Canada and northeastern US states.

Habitat And Diet

You can find Barnacle Geese in salt marshes, grassy fields, pastureland, and agricultural fields. During the breeding season, they usually occupy islets, islands, and cliff ledges that are close to shore. 

Barnacle Geese feed mainly on grass, whether on the tundra, near water, or on farmlands. They also feed on aquatic vegetation and insects when near water and crops and grains in fields.

Barnacle Goose Call:


Nests of Barnacle Geese are often built on cliff ledges to protect the eggs from predators. The female uses mud and dead foliage to create the nest and lines it with soft down feathers.  

The female lays five eggs and incubates them for twenty-five days. When the eggs hatch, the young are led to marshes with plenty of vegetation so that they can feed themselves. They fledge after about forty-five days.  

Fun Fact:

Barnacle Geese got their name from a Medieval Myth that tells that they supposedly came from Barnacles.