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Barnacle Geese

Barnacle Geese
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-05-22
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, AF Nikkor 70-300mm f4-5.6 G, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/640 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-05-25 7:31
Viewed: 3021
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 56
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A part of a large group of Barnacle Geese with goslings.

The Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) belongs to the genus Branta of black geese, which contains species with largely black plumage, distinguishing them from the grey Anser species. Despite its superficial similarity to the Brent Goose, genetic analysis has shown it is an eastern derivative of the Cackling Goose lineage.

The Barnacle Goose is a medium-sized goose with a white face and black head,all of the neck, and upper breast. Its belly is white. The wings and its back are silver-gray with black-and-white bars that look like they are shining when the light reflects on it. During flight a V-shaped white rump patch and the silver-gray underwing linings are visible.

Barnacle Geese breed mainly on the Arctic islands of the North Atlantic. There are three main populations, with separate breeding and wintering ranges; from west to east:
• Breeding in eastern Greenland, wintering on the Hebrides of western Scotland and in western Ireland. Population about 40,000.
• Breeding on Svalbard, wintering on the Solway Firth on the England/Scotland border. Population about 24,000.
• Breeding on Novaya Zemlya, wintering in the Netherlands. Population about 130,000.
• A new fourth population, derived from the Novaya Zemlya population, has become established since 1975 breeding on the Baltic Sea islands (Estonia, Finland, Denmark, and Sweden), and wintering in the Netherlands. Population about 8,000.

Small numbers of feral birds, derived from escapes from zoo collections, also breed in other north European countries. Occasionally, a wild bird will appear in the Northeastern United States or Canada, but care must be taken to separate out wild birds from escaped individuals, as Barnacle Geese are popular waterfowl with collectors.

Ecology, behavior and life history.
Barnacle Geese frequently build their nests high on mountain cliffs; away from predators (primarily Arctic Foxes and Polar Bears) but also away from food. Like all geese, the goslings are not fed by the adults.

Instead of bringing food to the newly hatched goslings, the goslings are brought to the ground. Unable to fly, the three day old goslings jump off the cliff and fall; their small size, feathery down, and very light weight helps to protect some of them from serious injury when they hit the rocks below, but many die from the impact. Arctic foxes are attracted by the noise made by the parent geese during this time and capture many dead or injured goslings. The foxes also stalk the young as they are led by the parents to wetland feeding areas.

Its call is a "kaw".

samiran88, ramthakur, maaciejka, goatman04, Chiza, Marco2010, cobra112, Alex99, anel, marius-secan, tuslaw, Hussain58, vanda, vanni2009, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To uleko: Canadian family?PeterZ 2 06-03 03:14
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter my neighbor,
simply a nice picture, colour, sharpness and tonal range is superb. really a good picture, thank you.
best wishes,

Stunningly captivating portrait of a family, Peter. They all look so relaxed and beautiful!
A professional image through and through.
Thanks for sharing it.

hallo Peter
mooie opname van deze ganzen familie
super scherp met mooie kleuren
leuk moment
groet lou

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2012-05-25 9:01]

Hi Peter,magnificent pic of this family,i can see the effect of the love of springtime..eheheh...fantastic capture whit great details averywhere. Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano

Hi Peter,
nice photo of these ducks. Amazing family. Excellent point of view. Greta composition.
Thanks for sharing,

Hello Peter,
Beautiful photo with good compozition and nice colours.The sharpness is impressive!
Best regards

Hello Peter,

An excellent capture with beautiful colors, details & natural setting. Very nice composed & presented.

TFS & best wishes!

Kind regards


Hola Peter, que buena foto de esta bella especie de Ganzo con sus pollos, maravilloso momento el captado de una especie que no conocía...saludos.

Ciao Peter, great capture of lovely family, fascinating reflections, splendid light, wonderful colors, fine details and excellent sharpness, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Hello Peter
A superb photo, perfectly composed.
All subjects in excellent focus and detail.
Lovely and interesting subjects.
regards yiannis

Hello Peter,
lovely capture of this Geese family with 5 cute youngs. I especially like the good sharpness, the natural colours and the splendid light. Congratulations to this wonderful shot.
Best wishes,

Ciao Peter.
Questa sera più da vicino la famigliola,sempre ben fotografata con dei stupendi colori naturali ed un’ottima nitidezza bene i dettagli, eccellente la composizione bravo.
Ti auguro un buon fine settimana ciao Marco.

Ciao Peter. Impresive DOF here and stunning details indeed. Amazing effects on water. Very well done. Have a good week end MF.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2012-05-26 2:37]

Hi Peter.
Razor sharp image of a lovely scene with tremendous clarity and clearness of colours. Great DOF and precise exposure. My compliments and have a nice weekend.

Hello Peter
Beautiful family and great capture in lovely composition,wonderful colours,light and details.
Thank You
Have a good weekend!

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2012-05-26 5:50]

Hello Peter,
What a cute family! Actually we can see often this kind of scenes, little birds everywhere, like we imagine it in Spring. It's so cute to see the parents Barnacle Geese controlling very well the goslings! Interesting and vivid picture from nature.
Kind regards

Hoi Peter,

leuk plaatje van de brandganzen family


Great photo Peter! Beautiful subject, very good composition, fantastic colours and good sharpness.

Hello Peter,
Absolutely gorgeous....... Wonderful birds.....It is a perfect photo taken from a very good low POV. Excellent light......The details are fantastic. Very sharp and excellent natural colors. I never have the chance to take a photo with this amazing birds.....
Thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2012-05-26 19:29]

Hello Peter,
What an attractive image of this family of Barnacle Geese. The black and white markings of the parents are very eye catching. The entire group is in sharp focus, allowing us to view them in fine detail. Love the composition and wonderful DOF. Very informative notes. Great work!!

Hello Peter,

Hope life is good down there, for here summer is almost blistering, sweltering hot. It is the absolute focus and sharpness in this superb shot which lends more beauty to already beautiful objects, the geese and goslings. Your skill and love for nature are both amply visible in this shot of unique nature. Thanks a lot for sharing.....take care....warmest regards/Abid

Excelente trabajo , donde exprimes al 100% las posibilidades de esa Nikon.
Buena luz, enfoque y colores.
Saludos Peter: Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • vanda Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 338 W: 25 N: 754] (3673)
  • [2012-05-27 9:47]

Hi Peter!
What a nice family! Excellent capture, Peter, with perfect sharpness and fine details. Splendidi light and reflections.
Ciao and nice week! Vanda

Hello Peter,
beautiful photography, excellent sharpness and color.
Congratulations and thanks for sharing and the accompanying notes.
Hello Vanni

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2012-05-27 13:47]

Hello Peter.
Very nice capture of cute family.POV,details and composition are wonderful.TFS.
Best regards Siggi

Hello Peter

Very beautiful photo with full of tenderness,
fine POV & DOF, great focus, sharpness and
details of all of them, TFS


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2012-06-02 10:09]
  • [+]

Hello Peter,
I've overlooked this beautiful capture of yours! Perfect timing and a great view of this Canadian family! Great focus on all and lovely details and colours.
Many thanks and cheers, Ulla

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2012-06-05 12:18]

What a wonderful group picture, Peter!
I have never seen a Barnacle goose in real life.
They have such pretty markings.
And what a bonus to have the goslings in there too!
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2013-02-05 0:55]

Hello Peter
what a view of these exciting, unique and well details ducks. Very interesting indeed to see the feathers and the color combination.
excellent work.


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