Bean Goose Anser fabalis   [Latham, 1787]

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Order: Anseriformes Family: Anatidae
BTO Codes: BE, BEAGO EURING No: 1570
Number in Britain: 730 birds (Winter)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern(Winte
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Winter Migrant
Subspecies: fabalis, rossicus recorded in Britain (of 5 subsp. in the world)
Length: 75 cm Wingspan: 158 cm Weight: M: 3.4 kg   F: 2.8 kg    
Scientific name from: L.: anser=a goose and L.: fabalis=of beans (from faba=bean)
World Distribution: BREEDS: n Scandinavia & Siberia, WINTERS: w,c Europe, Iran, China & Japan
Habitat: Tundra & taiga lakes, bogs & wet meadows
Diet: Plant material on land, incl. (in winter) cereal crops
TitBit: Co-ordinated observation of neck-collared birds wintering in Norfolk showed one reached its first staging ground (Jutland) on the way back to its breeding areas in 7h 39m, flying 650km at an average speed of 85 kph.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos BTO ID Workshop

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: No population trend available
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Winter: 730 individuals in 2004/05 - 2009/10
    First Record: 1678 [Fossil evidence from Ipswichian (last) interglacial, c. 125,000 yr ago]
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Small Non-breeding Population,
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern: fabalis RED (International Concern), rossicus AMBER (Rare or Localised)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
European Population Size:
    Summer: 850 to 1 thousand pairs
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WBD(II), Bern(III), Bonn(II), AEWA
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack
Text from the Waterbird Review Series

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 84 x 56 mm Egg Weight: 146.0 g (of which 9 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 0
Clutch Size: 4 - 6 eggs
Incubation: 27- 29 days   by the: Female
Fledging: Unavailable as: Precocial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Does not breed in Britain, or too few Nest Records
Number of Broods: 1
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.770       
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: Typical Lifespan: No data
Maximum Recorded Age: 2 years 6 months 2 days (set in 2006)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: Check with Ringing Unit
Wing Length Adult: Insufficient Data
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
Weight Adult: Insufficient Data
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data

Other Names

Has Included Anser brachrhynchus
Gaelic: Muir-ghèadh Welsh: Gwydd y Llafur
Danish: Sædgås Dutch: Rietgans
Finnish: Metsähanhi French: Oie des moissons
German: Saatgans Hungarian: Vetési lúd
Icelandic: Akurgæs Irish: Síolghé
Italian: Oca granaiola Norwegian: Sædgås
Polish: Ges zbozowa Portuguese: Ganso-campestre
Spanish: Ansar campestre Swedish: Sädgås

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Kear, J 2005 Ducks, geese and swans Oxford University Press [598.48 KEA]
   Cabot, D. 2009 Wildfowl Collins, London
See Also:
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Wikipedia entry
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BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides