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Barnacle Goose

Barnacle Goose
Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-26
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon EF 400mm f4.0 DO IS USM, RAW ISO 800, Canon EF 2x Extender II
Exposure: f/14.0, 1/800 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-09-03 4:30
Viewed: 4337
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Barnacle Geese flying above Yyteri mudflats in the West coast of Finland. These birds are breeding in the area.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

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, neck, and upper breast. Its belly is white. The wings and its back are silver-gray with black-and-white bars. 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".

The Barnacle Goose is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

The English name of this species, and the scientific name of the Brent Goose (B. bernicla) and the Goose Barnacle, come from the fable that Barnacle Geese were produced from barnacles, organisms that grow on timber exposed to salt water. This belief stemmed from the observation that these geese were never seen in summer, when they were supposedly developing underwater (they were actually breeding in remote Arctic regions). The barnacles and the geese shared similar black and white colours, plus a certain type of barnacle looked - with a bit of imagination - like a tiny black and white goose. The geese and the barnacles appeared in different seasons. Though the issue was controversial, it was an important part of medieval cuisine because it enabled Catholics to classify these geese as fish and therefore to eat their flesh during Lent.

Seabird, vanderschelden, jaycee, gracious, Jamesp, SelenE, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Pekka,

Good timing to get these three so close to each other. Nice composition and Dof used.


Hi, Pekka,

nice capture of a beautiful moment. thanks a lot for sharing.

Man Yee

hello Pekka,
beautiful capture, i like the parade of these Barnacle Geese.

best regards sERGIO

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-09-03 11:36]

Hello Pekka,
Wonderful in flight capture.POV,details,framing and composition are Very good.
Regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • mariki Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 838 W: 60 N: 2307] (9477)
  • [2008-09-03 11:48]

Hello Pekka,

Great capture of these geese. Excellent POV, DOF and sharpness. Perfect exposure. I like the sky with the clouds in the background.

Hello Pekka,
Technically well done as you managed to get an impressive depth of field combined with a short shutter speed, resulting in a successful in flight photo.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-09-03 12:51]

Hi Pekka,

A wonderful trio of Geese in a lovely formation. Great skill and timing to capture these. It's interesting how all three have different wing positions. Excellent natural colors and superb details of each and every one of them.


Hello Pekka,
This is a real good inflight shot of the three geese!
the parade line up really well captured in good moment also in good sharpness, natural colour and details
well done

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-09-04 6:24]

Hi Pekka,
a great in-flight shot of these Barnacle Geese.
Excellent exposure.
Superb sharpness.
Great composition.
We don't often see these birds on TN so thanks for sharing this photo :-)

Well done, Pekka!


p.s I like your idea on having another TN meet at Elmley Marsh... that place is awesome! Is there still a lot of birds there? It might be worth waiting till winter when all the migratory birds arrive.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-09-04 23:44]

Hi Pekka

Superb shot - excellent timing and composition.


This is a superb shot!
Very well done!I've never seen geese flying!

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-09-09 13:47]

Hi Pekka,
I like the flight formation you captured here, all of the members are different :o) Good details, POV, exposure handling and composition. TFS
All the best,

hello Pekka

in the last month i was absent and missed alot of your
excellent shots, i will choose 2 of them to critique
(to have smileys to very one), this is the fist one, i love it,
3 in one shot, you where at the good side, excellent timing,
great focus sharpness and details, TFS


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