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