The Barnacle Goose, a distinctive, handsome black-and-white bird, gets its name from a mediaeval myth that the birds hatched from barnacles – how else to explain their sudden appearance each autumn in northern Britain? We now know, of course, that the birds migrate from Arctic Russia, Norway and Svalbard to winter throughout northern Europe. The Barnacle Goose represents a culmination of more than 25 years of Barnacle Goose research. It represents the story of one of Europe's most celebrated long-term behavioral studies, detailing the lives of these social and sociable birds. Chapters include sections on pair formation and bonding, family and population dynamics, brood parasitism, food and feeding, size and shape in different populations, life cycle, survivorship, dispersal, migration, and conservation, with particular regard to climate change. It is a rigorous and thorough examination of the lives of these birds, in fine Poyser tradition.
Jeff Black is Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Humboldt State University in California, where he specialises in wildfowl behaviour and ecology. Jouke Prop and Kjell Larsson are animal ecologists from the universities of Groningen (Netherlands) and Gotland (Sweden) respectively.
"full of information [...] the book teaches you to appreciate the sheer effort put into researching the[se] geese"
– Bird Watching
"[...] Whether they have been trained scientifically or not, most readers will be able to learn some interesting facts about Barnacle Goose from this book, [...] Having studied the geese for an extended period, the authors clearly know their subject and have packed a lot of academic knowledge into this volume."
– Ian Woodward, BTO book reviews