Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)


Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis)


French: Bernache à cou roux German: Rothalsgans Spanish: Barnacla cuelliroja

Anser ruficollis


, 1769,

lower Ob, Siberia


Sometimes placed in monospecific genus Rufibrenta. Has apparently hybridized in the wild with B. bernicla#R. Monotypic.


Siberian tundra, almost entirely within Taymyr Peninsula, also in Gydan and Yamal Peninsulas. Winters in SE Europe and SW Asia, mainly on N & W coasts of Black Sea and Caspian Sea.

Descriptive notes

53–56 cm; male 1200–1625 g, female 1058–1130 g; wingspan 116–135 cm. Unmistakable. Chestnut-red patches on head-sides, foreneck and breast,... read more


Hisses in aggression and short, staccato disyllabic honking, with second syllable slightly longer... read more


Dry shrub and lichen-covered tundra, with vegetation of dwarf birch (Betula) and willows... read more

Food and feeding

Essentially vegetarian; leaves, stems and green parts of grasses, sedges and some aquatic plants, particularly in winter, complemented with... read more


Starts Jun, with laying in second half of month, hatching mainly from mid Jul and fledging in late Aug/early Sept. In loose groups usually... read more


Highly migratory, following narrow migration corridor; departs breeding quarters in Siberian... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. CITES II. Breeding range incompletely known, but extends over at least 500,000 km²; in winter limited to < 50,000 km². Breeding range reported to be... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 5 April 2020).