Barnacle Geese
Branta leucopsis

f8 @ 1/500s, ISO:1600, Nikon D3S w 300mm


"Barnacle Goose," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Barnacle geese frequently build their nests high on mountain cliffs; away from predators (primarily Arctic foxes and polar bears) but also away from food. Like all geese, the goslings are not fed by the adults. Instead of bringing food to the newly hatched goslings, the goslings are brought to the ground. Unable to fly, the three-day-old goslings jump off the cliff and fall; their small size, feathery down, and very light weight helps to protect some of them from serious injury when they hit the rocks below, but many die from the impact. Arctic foxes are attracted by the noise made by the parent geese during this time and capture many dead or injured goslings. The foxes also stalk the young as they are led by the parents to wetland feeding areas.
Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway
 
07/08/2015