| Western Isles of Scotland
Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Pink-footed Geese
(Pinks, Pinkfeet, Pink Foots)
Photograph © Suzanne Harris
Callanish - Isle of Lewis - Outer Hebrides (Western Isles)
3rd September, 2008
"This Pink-footed Goose was grazing with Greylag Geese, on the seeded land above East Loch Roag, a favourite Greylag haunt. Mostly the bird remained slightly apart from the Greylag group... The light was poor at the time and it was a fair way off, it's markings were not strong, but I could see the lovely bluish-grey - I thought it an juvenile bird at first, but decided later that it was adult. A couple of days ago I saw a pair of Canada Geese with Greylags just a few hundred yards from this spot."
Our Pink-footed Geese photographs
- 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 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.
(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)
Other local bird photographs
Sources of information for the bird sightings section
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