Our Beautiful World

Bean Goose, Anser fabalis  


© http://www.ecosystema.ru/

  
Bean Geese wintering in Spain
Photo © Daniel L. Velasco

The Bean Goose is the only goose with a black and orange bill although at a distance it may be hard to prove that the bill isn't
black and pink as in a Pink-foot. In that case look at the colour of the upper wing - dull dark brown in a Bean Goose,
frosty grey in a Pink-foot, and also the shape of the head and bill - much longer and smoothly triangular in a Bean Goose,
stubby in a Pink-foot. Beware though that birds of the Eastern race A.f.rossicus have smaller bills more like Pink-feet.
In flight, the dark upper wing, back and rump separate them from both Greylags and Pink-feet and they lack the black
belly bars of the adult White-fronts.

Text in the section above: © Arthur Grosset

© Läänemaa Bird Club

The Bean Goose (Anser fabalis) is a medium-sized to large goose breeding in northern Europe and Asia.
It has been split into two species by the AOU--see below. It is migratory and winters further south in Europe and Asia.

The bill is black at the base and tip, with an orange band across the middle; the legs and feet are also bright orange.
The upper wing-coverts are dark brown, as in the White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) and the Lesser White-fronted Goose
(A. erythropus), but differing from these in having narrow white fringes to the feathers.

It gets its English and scientific names from its habit in the past of grazing in bean field stubbles in winter (Latin faba, a bean).

There are five subspecies, with complex variation in body size and bill size and pattern; generally, size increases from north to
south and from west to east. Some ornithologists split them into two species based on breeding habitat, whether in forest bogs
in the subarctic taiga, or on the arctic tundra.

Taiga Bean Goose (Anser fabalis sensu stricto)
A. f. fabalis. Scandinavia east to the Urals. Large; bill long and narrow, with broad orange band.
Anser fabalis fabalis is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory
Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
A. f. johanseni. West Siberian taiga. Large; bill long and narrow, with narrow orange band.
A. f. middendorffii. East Siberian taiga. Very large; bill long and stout, with narrow orange band.

Tundra Bean Goose (Anser serrirostris, if treated as a distinct species)
A. s. rossicus. Northern Russian tundra east to the Taimyr Peninsula. Small; bill short and stubby, with narrow orange band.
Anser fabalis rossicus is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory
Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
A. s. serrirostris. East Siberian tundra. Large; bill long and stout, with narrow orange band.
The voice is a loud honking, higher pitched in the smaller subspecies.

The closely related Pink-footed Goose (A. brachyrhynchus) has the bill short, bright pink in the middle, and the feet also pink,
the upper wing-coverts being nearly of the same bluish-grey as in the Greylag Goose.
In size and bill structure, it is very similar to Anser fabalis rossicus, and in the past was often treated as a sixth subspecies
of Bean Goose.
Text in the sectiohn above: http://en.wikipedia.org



Swimming around somewhere in Japan
© http://www.ab.hkd.mlit.go.jp (not active as per Sept.2010)


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