Brent Goose

Branta bernicla

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  2. Birds
  3. Waterfowl
  4. Brent Goose


Another common wintering bird, and the smallest of our common geese, the Brent Goose is only just bigger than a Mallard. Brent Geese gather in large flocks of hundreds or more and, like other geese, fly in long V-shaped formations called 'skeins'.

How to identify

Our smallest goose, the Brent Goose has a grey-brown back, and black neck and head with just a small white patch on the neck.

Where to find it

Only found here in the winter. Birds that nest in northern Russia and Siberia are darker, and spend the winter around the coasts of East Anglia and southern England. Birds that nest in Svalbard and Greenland are paler and mostly spend the winter around the North East and Ireland.


When to find it

  • October
  • November
  • December
  • January
  • February
  • March

How can people help

Britain is an important stopover for many wintering migrant species, so it is vital that we protect the places they rely on. But the survival of our waterbirds is threatened by the loss and degradation of many of our wetland habitats. The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Brent Goose
Latin name
Branta bernicla
Length: 55-60cm Wingspan: 1.5m Weight: 1.5kg Average Lifespan: 11 years
Conservation status
Classified in the UK as an Amber List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review.