Barnacle Goose: Medium goose, distinctive white face, jet-black head, neck, and upper breast. Wings and back are silver-gray with black-and-white bars. Belly is white. V-shaped white rump patch and silver-gray underwing linings are visible in flight. Black bill,legs and feet. Strong direct flight.
Range and Habitat
Barnacle Goose: Breeds in Greenland and northern Eurasia. Spend winters in northern Europe and British Isles. Probably rare vagrant in northeastern North America, though many records are believed to be of escaped captive birds. Preferred habitats include arctic rivers and marshlands; winters on coastal marshes and grasslands.
It was an important part of medieval cuisine; since it was believed to be produced from barnacles, Catholics classified these geese as fish and therefore could eat their flesh during Lent.
It was thought they developed from the Goose Barnacle. The confusion was prompted by the similarities in color and shape, and the fact that they appeared in different seasons.
The English name of the Barnacle Goose, and the scientific name of the Brent Goose (B. bernicla), come from the fable that Barnacle Geese were produced from barnacles.
A group of geese has many collective nouns, including a "blizzard", "chevron", "knot", "plump", and "string" of geese.