Goose (red-breasted)

Branta ruficollis

IUCN Red List status: Vulnerable

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Where they live

Native to Eurasia


Breeds on the high arctic tundra, on islands, and coastal habitats.


53 - 56 cm


1.2-1.6 kg (2.6-3.5 lb)


Approx. 15 years


Habitat loss

Did you know...

  • During the breeding season Red–breasted Geese can be noisy, uttering a harsh and high pitched tone.
  • Males and females look alike.
  • White bars can be seen on the wings.

More about [ANIMAL]...

The migratory Red-breasted Geese breed in arctic Europe (Northern Siberia on the Taomyr peninsula) and winter in south eastern Europe (Eastern Romania at the edge of the Black Sea).

The small Red-breasted Geese has a black, reddish-brown and white plumage; with a mostly black back and top of the head and face, except for the white patches between the eyes and the upper bill, and the distinctive reddish-brown patches on the side of the head that are bordered white. The neck and chest is brownish-red, followed by a thin white “necklace” and the abdomen is blackish-brown. The “upper pants” are whitish.

Red-breasted Geese start breeding when they are about 3 years old. Most nest early June.

They usually nest near cliffs or rock outcrops and always very close to the nests of large birds of prey, such as Peregrine Falcons. This helps to protect them from predators such as the Arctic Fox.

The average clutch consists of 3 – 8 eggs that are incubated for about 25 days.

Breeding Red-breasted Geese will usually feed on grass leaves and the shoots of cotton-grasses.  In their wintering territories, they usually take winter wheat, barley, maize, and pasture grasses.

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