New York State Avian Records Committee

a committee of the New York State Ornithological Association

Gallery of New York Rarities
Black Brant or Gray-bellied Brant?

March 1999Text and Photographs by Angus Wilson


This very interesting goose spent the entire 1998/99 winter with Atlantic Brant on the short-grass lawns of Floyd Bennet Field, Riis Park and Fort Tilden near New York City. I have already posted a series of pictures of this bird taken at the end of January 1999. To see them click here. On this page are a series of additional photographs taken on the 28th March 1999, this time under more overcast conditions.

There is good reason to think this is not a typical 'Pacific Black Brant' but rather a poorly defined form known as 'Gray-bellied Brant'. I would be interested in any specific comments or offers of comparative photographs of Black Brant from the west coast.

Figure 1. With Atlantic Brant. Notice the obvious contrast between the black neck sock and the dark belly. The dark apron does not extend much beyond the legs. Notice the limited collars on the two Atlantic Brant.



Figure 2. Head-on view showing the underside of the neck.

















Figure 3. Another side view, showing the extent of the dark apron.












Figure 4. Detail of the neck collar, which almost meets on the hindneck.







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