Birds Image Stock | Barnacle goose

The barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis) was an important part of medieval cuisine since it was believed to be produced from barnacles - hence its name. The English name of the Barnacle Goose, and the scientific name of the Brent Goose (Branta bernicla), come from the fable that Barnacle Geese were produced from barnacles. Catholics classified these geese as fish and therefore could eat their flesh during Lent. The barnacle goose belongs to the genus Branta of black geese, which contains species with largely black plumage, distinguishing them from the grey Anser species. Ii is a medium-sized, sociable goose, with black head, neck and breast with creamy-white face, which contrasts with the white belly, blue-grey barred back and black tail. It flies in packs and long lines, with a noisy chorus of barking or yapping sounds. It breeds in Greenland and northern Eurasia. Spends winters in northern Europe and British Isles. Preferred habitats include arctic rivers and marshlands; winters on coastal marshes and grasslands.
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