Barnacle Army

A little army of handsome Barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis) walking in perfect order on the thin ice covering the lake of the Röhrenseepark in Bayreuth, Germany, this afternoon.

These are the birds that were featured on the BBC One nature show Life Story for having what can be described as one of the most perilous life beginning…

I wonder how this small, friendly group of 6 individuals ended up living in the Bavarian countryside. The species has indeed very specific breeding and wintering grounds which do not at all include Southern Germany―a range map can be viewed here. A probable explanation is that they escaped or were freed from a zoo.

Barnacle geese breed in different parts of Scandinavia (including Norwegian archipelago Svalbard), Russia, Iceland and Greenland: will these German geese also migrate northward to rejoin their breeding grounds this coming spring? If not, where will they nest? I shall keep an eye of them to find out.

Location: Bayreuth, Germany

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7 thoughts on “Barnacle Army

  1. lovely shots of these Barnacle geese! I saw Life Story too. what an incredible thing to be asked of the newborn: jump 400 something feet down to the ground and hope you survive predators and injury to live another day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thx, I’m glad u like them! They’re such pretty, tiny geese, probably my favorite kind (tho I haven’t seen all species). The fall was awful, I really never imagined the chick would survive and already half way through the fall I was feeling real sad! I think we always tend to underestimate nature, but these goslings are so incredibly tough!

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  3. I saw the behind -the-scenes footage for the Barnacle goslings as they fell. It was quite sad to watch, as one full set of chicks was lost to a predator (mother fox, I believe, hunting for her hungry kits).

    we do constantly underestimate nature — but these creatures have to be tough to survive!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That seems interesting, do you have the link to the making-of video? In fact, I could never watch the whole episode because BBC doesn’t play from where I am and I couldn’t find the video otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve found a youtube video that someone had posted (overlook the slightly sped-up audio and the cloud vignetting that was added 🙂 )

    the behind-the-camera moments start ar 42:51

    go to 42:51

    Liked by 1 person

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