Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Barnacle Goose

Barnacle Goose, or Bernicle Goose (Bernicla leucopsis), a northern goose visiting Britain in the winter, frequenting the western rather than the eastern coasts, and returning north to breed. The adult male is about 25 in. long; bill black. with a reddish streak on each side, cheeks and throat white, neck black, upper parts marked with black and white, lower parts white. These birds are in high estimation for the table. Of this species and of the Brent goose (q.v.) it was formerly fabled that they were hatched from barnacles or produced from the "anatiferous trees" mentioned by Sir Thomas Browne. Sir R, Moray, in a paper published by the Royal Society in 1678, describes the perfectly-formed young geese which he fancied he had seen in the shell of the barnacle (q.v.). But it is worth recording that in the same year in Ray's edition of Willughby the story is gravely discussed, and as gravely refuted. In many cases the Brent goose is confounded with this bird, but where they are distinguished, the true barnacle goose is often known as the White-fronted, or Land Barnacle. The Red-breasted Goose (B. ruficollis), a native of Siberia, and a closely allied species, having the upper part of the breast a rich chestnut, is an occasional visitor. The Canada, or Cravat, Goose (B. canadensis), owing its popular name to a white patch on the neck, is domesticated in England, notably in Norfolk, and breeds with the common goose. Hutchins' Goose, or Barnacle (B. hutchinsii) is American, found as high as 60° N. lat., passing to the southern states in the winter.