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Fun Brant Geese Facts For Kids

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Outdoor & NatureLearn more
Brant Goose floating in water

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It can be difficult to differentiate between ducks and geese as both of these waterfowls belong to the similar family Anatidae. However, the genus Brant of the family Anatidae consists of true geese and the brant geese are one of its species. The brant geese whose binomial name is Branta bernicla whose synonym is Anas bernicla can also be referred to as brent goose. This is a small goose variety that can be distinguished for its black head and short neck. The brant geese are extremely migratory as they may winter in North America and Eurasia but they will breed in the Arctic. Brant geese are frequently confused with Canada geese as both of them are North American birds, however, brant geese are extra darker than Canada geese. There are three subspecies of and all of them are divided based on their distribution range. Its subspecies, black brant geese, dark-bellied, and pale-bellied brant geese, are not universally accepted as it is suggested that these three subspecies are genetically dissimilar. The brant geese live in colonies and an uncommon inland. Despite their conservation status, this species is subjected to habitat loss. The requirement of its habitat comprises immense eelgrass and sea lettuce which is their diet.

Intrigued already? Want to learn more about brant geese? Then keep reading this article as more interesting facts are stated below. If you like this article then check our other articles on the magpie duck and call duck and share these facts with everyone.

Brant Geese Interesting Facts

What type of animal are brant geese?

Brant geese are a type of North American small goose that is extremely migratory.

What class of animal do brant geese belong to?

Brant geese (Bernicla bernicla) belong to the class of Aves, order Anseriformes, family Anatidae, and genus Branta. This species has three distinct subspecies that are not yet widely accepted. These subspecies include black brant goose (Branta bernicla nigricans), dark-bellied goose (Branta bericla bernicla), and pale-bellied goose (Branta bernicla hrota).

How many brant geese are there in the world?

The population of pale-bellied variety is 250000 with major population breeding in Canada and the far east Islands of Canada while wintering near the Atlantic coast, Denmark, Scotland, England, and more. The population of dark-bellied is also similar and the majority of its population breeds in the Arctic and winter in the western region of Europe. The population black-bellied is 125000 and has declined as a result of human activities. The breeding ground of this subspecies is Alaska, Siberia, and Canada, and prefers wintering in North America and as far as Asia.

Where do brant geese live?

The geographical distribution range of this bird depends on wintering, nesting, and breeding. The breeding range of the brant geese is in the extreme Arctic predominantly in the territories of Northwest and Nanuvut of Alaska and Canada. Besides North America, the brant geese of the order Anseriformes, family Anatidae breed in Europe as well. The European breeding ground mainly comprises various regions in Russia. The dark-bellied geese are observed breeding on the Arctic coast while pale-bellied breeds do so in Canada and black-bellied breeds in Canada, Alaska, and Serbia. As these birds are extremely migratory they may winter in a different range. They keep their wintering region within the premises of coastal areas such as the Atlantic coast, especially in Long Islands, New Jersey, Massachusetts. It is rarely seen wintering near the south coast of North Carolina, Florida, central Atlantic coast, and Georgia. A massive population of this bird prefers to winter in Baja California.

What is a brant goose's habitat?

Brant geese have two different habitats, one to breed and the other to winter. The west coastal meadows and tundra on the inland lakes and Islands. However, tiny colonies breed on lacustrine islands in Tundra meadow's moist sedge. These birds may molt near estuaries, lakes, and coastal lagoons. Their non-breeding range comprises shallow waters, estuaries where eelgrass is abundant to forage as it is an integral part of its diet.

Who do brant geese live with?

The brant geese live in large flocks or colonies.

How long do brant geese live?

The average life span of brant geese is 28 years. The Atlantic brant may not live as long as 28 years. the average life span of Atlantic brant is approximately less than 21 years.

How do they reproduce?

Brant geese are monogamous and the birds show up at the breeding area in pairs. The method of reproduction is sexual and they start building nests when the females lay their first egg. The location for nesting is usually in the lower Arctic where habitats are grassy and have lakes, ponds, or estuaries nearby. The female lays approximately three to five eggs. The incubation period is almost 24 days. The young birds are born with full plumage.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the brant (Branta bernicla) is Least Concern which is confirmed by the IUCN. However, the population of this bird, particularly one of its subspecies, is declining. There are numerous factors associated with their declining population such as hunting, predation, and loss of natural habitats.

Brant Geese Fun Facts

What do brant geese look like?

These small types of geese are extremely migratory and their average length is 22–26 in (55–66 cm). The tail of this bird is extremely short and is primarily black while its under tail is white. The upper part of this goose is dark brown and the underpart is also brown but it is barred and often the brown is mixed with pale gray that is visible when in flight. These birds are frequently misidentified for their resemblance with the Canada geese. The head of brant geese is black, however, the color or size may vary according to the subspecies.

Brant Goose taking off

How cute are they?

Both the young and adult birds have a unique appearance and have short necks with a black head that makes them look cute just like the upland goose.

How do they communicate?

The brant geese use different types of calls to communicate. The calls of brant geese are more like harsh cronks which they produce during rest or in flight.

How big are brant geese?

The brant geese are small species of goose with short necks that are frequently confused with Canada geese. The length of this species is 22–26 in (55.8–66 cm). These birds are slightly bigger than the crested ducks which are 19.6-23.6 in (49.7-59.9 cm).

How fast can brant geese fly?

The brant geese have a migration pattern and the speed of these birds can reach over 61.5 mph (99 kph).

How much do brant geese weigh?

The weight of this species is approximately 1.9–4.9 lb (0.86–2.2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male geese are called ganders while the female goose is referred to as goose.

What would you call a baby brant goose?

The female lays around three to five eggs in their nest and the baby or young brant geese are called goslings.

What do they eat?

The diet of brant geese relies on their breeding or non-breeding habitats as they breed primarily in Tundra in Canada, Serbia, and Alaska and winter near coastal areas like Baja California. They eat mainly eelgrass and sea lettuce as they live near estuaries, lakes, coastal lagoons.

Are they dangerous?

The behavior of geese can be aggressive at times, but they are not dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

Geese are widely kept as a pet. However, brant geese are extremely migratory birds and require proper habitat for nesting and wintering therefore keeping them at home is not a good idea. Besides, despite their Least Concern conservation status, the population of this bird is decreasing due to habitat loss.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

A prominent oilfield called the brent system is named after the brant goose or brent goose.

There are various terms assigned to the flocks of geese such as ‘chevron’, ‘blizzard’, ‘plum’, ‘string’, ‘knot’ of geese.

Do brant geese migrate? 

Yes, the brant geese migrate. They migrate and fly more than 3000 mi (4828 km). The brant geese migration route is immense as no other geese would fly as far as the brant geese for nesting. They may fly from the Arctic to North America near Baja California or the Atlantic coast.

Do brant geese dive? 

Yes, brant geese may dive under specific circumstances. This bird is primarily observed swimming in flocks while they forage on eelgrass or sea lettuce. Brant geese do not dive to eat but they dive as a defense mechanism to protect themselves. The young birds or goslings and crippled brant geese dive to escape from predators or hunters.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these red-headed woodpecker facts and bearded vulture facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable duck crossing road sign coloring pages.

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