Barnacle Goose

On Barnacle Geese, mainly coloured legrings have been used. Black neckbands with white insctription have been used on a small number of birds in 2018. Most birds have one ring on each leg, and each ring has one engraved symbol. Eight different colours have been used (lime, white, yellow and orange with black inscription, green, blue, red and black with white inscription). A small number of birds has double-digit rings on one leg, with a metal ring on the other leg. Recently, black neckbands with white inscription have been used as well.

Below you find all colour combinations and ringtypes that have been used in the four different barnacle goose ringing projects, with the period these rings were used. The most recent combinations are presented at the top. Note that pre-1990 combinations are very rarely seen as the birds wearing them have now almost all died. In brackets you see how the combinations should be entered on the website. Click on the thumbnails to see a larger image.


Black neckband with white inscription (A12)

Russia 2018 - 
Netherlands 2018 - 


Green - Blue (GAB1)

Russia 2018 - 


Red - White (RAW1)

Germany 2017 - 2018
Netherlands 2018

Yellow - Black (YAN1)

Germany 2016 -2017


Orange - Black (OAN1)

Germany 2016 -2017

White - Black (WAN1)

Russia II 2015
Netherlands 2016

Lime - Red (LAR1)

Netherlands 2013-2015
Denmark 2014-2015

Orange - Yellow (OAY1)

Netherlands 2012-2013
Russia II 2013

Green - Lime (GAL1)

Netherlands 2007-2010
Russia II 2007-2008

Lime - Orange (LAO1)

Netherlands 2008-2009
Russia II 2005-2008

Lime - Blue (LAB1)

Russia II 2003-2004
Netherlands 2004

Lime - White (LAW1)

Russia II 2002-2004
Russia I 1979-1983

White - Lime (WAL1)

Netherlands 2004
Russia I 1979-1989

Yellow - White (YAW1)

Russia II 2002-2003
Baltic 1984-1985
Russia I 1979-1982

Orange - White (OAW1)

Baltic 1998-2000


White - Green (WAG1)

Baltic 1997-2000


Green - Yellow (GAY1)

Baltic 1996-1998


Blue - Green (BAG1)

Baltic 1995-1997


Green - Red (GAR1)

Baltic 1994-1996


Red - Blue (RAB1)

Baltic 1993-1994


Blue - metal (B*AB)

Baltic 1992-1993


Green - metal (G*AB)

Baltic 1992-1993


Red - metal (R*AB)

Baltic 1992-1993


Blue - White (BAW1)

Baltic 1991-1992


Yellow - Red (YAR1)

Baltic 1989-1990


White - Red (WAR1)

Baltic 1987-1988


Orange - Blue (OAB1)

Baltic 1986


Blue - Yellow (BAY1)

Baltic 1985


Yellow - Yellow (YAY1)

Russia I 1979-1983


White - White (WAW1)

Russia I 1979-1983


White - Yellow (WAY1)

Russia I 1979-1982


Barnacle Geese on the move

Since the start of the first colour ringing program (Russia I) by the former Rijksinstituut voor Natuurbeheer (now Alterra) the population has shown a marked increase. At present, about 1 million Barnacle Geese winter on the European mainland, mainly along the Dutch and German coasts. Along with the increase in numbers, the wintering area of the species expanded and many new wintering sites were colonized. During spring, the majority of the Russian population migrates through the Baltic to the breeding areas in the north of European Russia. The increase in numbers went hand in hand with the colonization of new breeding areas to the west and southwest of the original breeding grounds on Novaya Zemlya and Vaigach in Arctic Russia. From these areas, the coast of the Barents' Sea and the island Kolguev were colonised. In 1971, the first breeding pair in the Baltic was found, on the Swedish island Gotland. The Baltic population now numbers some 6000 breeding pairs and has stopped growing. Since 1982 barnacle geese also breed in the Netherlands and this population consists of c. 7000 breeding pairs. Most of the larger colonies in this 'North Sea Population' are situated in the northern Delta area in the southwest of the country.

In all populations Barnacle Geese are studied by means of colour ringing programs. The Baltic population has been studied thoroughly since 1984 and more than 5000 individuals have been fitted with large coloured plastic rings. Since 2002 Barnacle Geese are also studied in a number of colonies in the Russian arctic. In the study area at Kolokolkova bay (Russia II) almost 3000 birds were colour ringed between 2002 and 2008. Between 1978 and 1990 600 Barnacle Geese breeding in Russia (Russia I) were colour-ringed during winter in the Netherlands and northern Germany and also during their spring migration on Gotland (Sweden). After 1998 [?] Barnacle Geese of the newly established breeding population in the Netherlands have been ringed in the Delta area (SW-Netherlands) and in the province of Friesland.