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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Pink-footed Geese

Hebrides Bird Sightings :  Pink-footed Geese

Pink-footed Geese

(Pinks, Pinkfeet, Pink Foots)

Anser brachyrhynchus

Photography © Terry Fountain
Borve Machair - Benbecula - South Uist - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
21st March, 2008

 

Our Pink-footed Geese photographs

Pink-footed Geese
Pink-footed Geese
Pink-footed Geese

 

  • Pink-footed Geese (Pinks, Pinkfeet, Pink Foots)
  • Anser brachyrhynchus
  • UK: AMBER LIST. Winter visitor. 241,000 birds BTO (October - April)
  • WI: Fairly common passage (occurs in small numbers) and scarce winter visitor (very small numbers recorded in most years) .
  • Breeds: On cliffs near glaciers & on small islands in lakes avoiding predators (Arctic Fox). 3-6 eggs laid. On hatching, goslings walk with parents to nearest lake. Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard.
  • Winters: Migrates south mid-Sept to early Oct (heads north mid-April to early-May). (Two populations: Greenland & Iceland population winter in UK.Svalbard population winters in Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Northern Germany, Belgium
  • Habitat: Tundra lakes, rivers, wet meadows, large estuaries, & on nearby grazing land
  • Diet: Grazing: Plant material: grass & other leaves, roots, tubers like potatoes, shoots, grain
  • Medium-sized dainty looking goose. Pinkish-grey-brown with darker head & neck. Short, pink bill with black base & tip. Pink feet & legs. Grey tail with broad white tip. The upper feathers pale bluish-grey. White rear. Flight feathers blackish-grey. (Bean Goose has orange instead of pink legs & on bill, & paler, greyer plumage).
  • Typical lifespan 8yrs. Max recorded lifespan 38yrs 7mths
  • Listen to a Pink-footed Goose (RSPB site) High-pitched honking, particularly vocal in flight, with large skeins being said to be almost deafening!
  • Similar birds: Bean Goose, White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose


Numbers wintering in the UK are on the increase now that birds on the wintering grounds are protected from shooting. There were 30,000 birds in 1950 and in 292,000 birds in 2004 - almost a tenfold increase. The flock formed when the birds gathered in just one Aberdeenshire site in 2003 reached 66,000 birds!

 

Pink-footed Geese records in the Western Isles

Fairly common passage (occurs in small numbers) and scarce winter visitor (very small numbers recorded in most years).
Source: Outer Hebrides Bird Report (2001)


On the chart below the darker the shade of blue the more abundant the Pink-footed Geese is during a month or the more likely you are to see it.

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)

 

 

Branta and Anser Geese

The Branta genus of geese are those species with largely black plumage, the Anser genus are the species which are largely grey.

 

 

 

Collective nouns for Geese

A nide of geese
A gaggle of geese
A flock of geese
A wedge of geese (flying)
A skein of geese (flying)

From WIKI

 

Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section

 


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