Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Day 149 - Perfect Pink-Footed Geese

Pink footed geese (Anser brachyrhynchus)
Hi all today's Day 149 and I have recently been at Washington Wetlands and Wildfowl Centre where there is a lot of Wetland Birds (hence the name) and one of which is the Beautiful Pink-Footed Goose. I have seen a lot of these birds at Nosterfield but they were quite far off and I didn't get any good pictures so that's why I have got this far and not done them. They are lovely birds and I enjoyed seeing them again as it has given me a chance to do them just before they migrate.

So, here are the facts:
  • They are Winter visitors which seem to congregate in land around coastal estuaries along the East and North-West of England as well as Eastern Scotland.
  • They visit from Arctic places such as Greenland and Iceland. They also visit from a place that I have never heard of before called Spitsbergen, another place in the Arctic.
  • They have quite a short beak, as you can see in the pictures. This is reflected in their Latin name. Anser brachyrhynchus.
A pair feeding amongst barnacle geese
  • Anser = A goose -  Brakhus = Short + Rhunkhos = Bill. A goose of a Short Bill :-). I can't say their Latin name, let a lone what composes it! Good luck!
  • In the UK there are no breeding pairs they breed in the Arctic and the rest of Europe and there are around 60,000 breeding pairs.
  • In the Winter in the UK we are lucky enough to receive 360,000 of them. They arrive in October and they leave in April. We only just caught the last ones we saw then as we saw them on the 28th of March!
  • Their typical lifespan is 8 years but one little goose managed to stick it out for 38 years 7 months and 7 days!
  • They are 68cm in length and have a 152cm wingspan. Both Male and Female geese weigh 2.5kg.
Hunting for a tasty root
  • They are an Amber Status bird as they don't breed in the UK and they are also very localised. they have been an Amber Status for at least the last 3 surveys, for the same reason.
  • The average Pink-Foot breeding pair will raise around 17-18 babies to adult hood This is because the juvenile survival is 0.775 and they have 5 breeding years with an annuual average clutch of 4-5 eggs.
  • They are vegetarian and eat shots, leaves, tubers and roots. They sometimes graze on farmland and this sometimes puts them in conflict with farmers. They are also hunted in Norway and Iceland but it's not thought to have a major impact of their population 
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. I always enjoy your photos Zach, I love seeing Geese around and the flocks of migrating birds crossing the sky is always a nice sight. - Tasha

    1. Thanks Tasha - we get some flying over our house now and again - love hearing them :-)