Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Day 141 - Terribly Terrific Tundra Bean Goose

Bean Goose (Anser fabalis)
Hi all today's Day 141 and as you know I was at Washington Wetlands and Wildfowl Centre. I saw at least 21 species that I had never seen before and amongst these was a particular goose. At the visitor centre I was told that there was quite an interesting bird visiting the reserve, a Tundra Bean Goose. We weren't told where it was because they probably didn't know its whereabouts so I was sent on a wild goose chase (there you go Roy ;-).

Well as you can see I found it! It's another lovely looking bird. As usual I wanted to find out more so here are some of the facts I found out:
  • There are two different types of Bean Goose, the one I saw at Washington (Tundra) and the one that I have never seen before (Taiga).
Is this my best side?
  • Bean Geese are an Amber Status bird as they have declined in the last 20 years. Possible reasons for this are, a Human population growth which puts pressure on their territory, a change of habitat and direct killing. Another Wildlife Crime.
  • They have a combined population total of 730 wintering birds which is comprised of, 410 taiga bean geese and 320 tundra bean geese.
  • Another possible reason for decline is that the maximum recorded age is only 2 years 6 months and 2 days. A single pair of Bean Geese would only get 1 mating season in their lifetime! There doesn't seem to be much data available on their lifespan.
  • They have a length of 75cm and a wingspan of 158cm. Males weigh quite a lot more than females weighing 3.4kg while females weigh 2.8kg.
    Showing the lovely colours in its wings
  • They have such a good flight co-ordination that they can fly at incredible speeds. Some have been recorded flying over 650km in just 7 hours 39 minutes averaging speeds of 85kph!
  • Their Latin name is probably one of the most apt I have ever heard. Anser meaning a goose and Fabalis meaning of beans. So Anser fabalis translates to: a goose of beans :-D. They get this name from their habit of grazing in fields of bean stubble.
  • Staying on the subject of names, the Bean Goose doesn't seem to have any local names but if I had to make one for it, it would probably be 'dark-headed chase' as it has a dark head and, as it's rare, it makes you chase after it!
I'm watching you
  • The species 'fabalis' or 'of beans' is actually a Red Status species as it is of international concern.
  • Even though they live near lakes and in tundras (a treeless, cold upland which usually house dwarf shrubs sedges, grasses, mosses and lichens) they eat grass, cereals, potatoes and other crops.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


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