The Brent goose (Branta bernicla) name derives from the Norse word ‘brand’, meaning burnt. The goose was given this name because of its colour – like charcoal. It has a black head and neck and grey-brown back, with either a pale or dark belly – there are three subspecies, of brent goose: dark-bellied, pale-bellied and black. It migrates from Canada and Iceland to winter in Britain, Ireland, and France. One goose can travel over 135,000 miles in its lifetime between its winter habitat. If the brent geese have had a bad breeding season it is normally dramatic – almost total failure. This happens when lemmings (hamster-like creatures) have a poor breeding season and arctic foxes turn to eating goslings instead.
Brent goose