Brant are small, compact geese with a relatively short neck and stubby bill. One of the three subspecies winters on the US east coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts. This same subspecies winters in Ireland, England and the northeast coast of Europe. The black Pacific subspecies winters along the western coast of North America down to Baja California. The third subspecies winters in Japan, Korea and the coast of China opposite Korea. All Brant breed in wetlands along the Arctic coasts of Canada, Greenland and Siberia. Our eastern US subspecies migrates along a fairly narrow route that follows both sides of the Hudson Bay and then splits into two with one group continuing to the eastern Great Lakes and through New York to the coast. The other heads east to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and then follows the coast south. These are the ones we see each winter.

This is the pale subspecies of Brant t. It has a black head, neck and breast with a partial white necklace. It is referred to as pale because the back is brown.

They also have some striping on their sides.

We spotted four small groups of Brant in Plum Island Sound with a total of about 3 dozen birds. They were refueling for their journey back north by browsing on the sea grasses near the shore.

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