Barnacle Goose

Barnacle Goose at Wingham Wildlife Park

This bird reaches a length of around 64 cm, and has a wingspan of almost 140cm.

Habitat and Distribution
The breeding areas of these birds are all on arctic islands of the North Atlantic. Over the winter they will emigrate to Ireland, the Scottish / English border and the Netherlands.

The average age of this bird is 12 years, however the longest living individual ever recorded was 26 years and 8 months old at the time of its death.

The diet of this bird mainly revolves around grasses but they will also eat other shoots and leaves.

Groups and Breeding
The females lay 4 to 5 eggs which they will incubate in the nest for 25 days. Once hatched the young will be fully fledged at 45 days. The nest sites are often high on Mountains and cliffs.

This bird has few threats especially in its breeding range which is unlikely to become spoiled by humans to the point where it can no longer be of use for them.

Interesting fact’s
It used to be believed that this species grew out of goose barnacles on driftwood, because no one ever saw them nesting (because they nest in the arctic).