The Barnacle Goose is a medium-sized goose, 55-70 cm (22-28 in) long, with a wingspan of 130-145 cm (51-57 in) and a body mass of 1.21-2.23 kg (2.7-4.9 lb). It has a white face and black head, neck, and upper breast. Its belly is white. The wings and its back are silver-gray with black-and-white bars that look like they are shining when the light reflects on it. During flight a V-shaped white rump patch and the silver-gray underwing linings are visible.

Habitat and Distribution

Barnacle Geese breed mainly on the Arctic islands of the North Atlantic.


Barnacle geese forage on grasses, sedges, moss, roots and herbs.


Barnacle Geese frequently build their nests high on mountain cliffs; away from predators (primarily Arctic Foxes and Polar Bears) but also away from food. Like all geese, the goslings are not fed by the adults. Instead of bringing food to the newly hatched goslings, the goslings are brought to the ground. Unable to fly, the three day old goslings jump off the cliff and fall; their small size, feathery down, and very light weight helps to protect some of them from serious injury when they hit the rocks below, but many die from the impact

Calls and Songs

Its call is a `kaw`.