basic information

Red-breasted Goose

Branta ruficollis (Pallas, 1769)

Краснозобая казарка | Қызылжемсаулы қарашақаз

Western Kazakhstan. Syrym region. Ulenta.
© Aibar Magazov


The Red-breasted Goose is unmistakable identified by the specific black, white and chestnut-reddish colors. The forehead, top-head, back-neck, back, tail and wings are black. The head-sides have the large chestnut-reddish spot on the ear-area; these spots are bordered by the broad white edges which extended on the neck-flanks. The craw and neck-flanks are chestnut-reddish bordered by the white strip from the black belly. The upper- and undertail coverts and the rear-belly are white. The bill and legs are white; the eyes are reddish-brown. The juveniles are similar on adults but not so bright with less neat patterns; the “red” craw is yellowier with pale and brownish spots; the reddish spot on the cheek is less; the white strips are broader, sometimes the red on the head is lack; the wings have 3-5 white bars (2 on adults). The one-year birds also have these characters; the dim juvenile plumage is changed on bright adult one. Weight 1.0-1.7 kg, length 53-56, wing males 35.5-39.0, females - 33.2-36.0, wingspan 116-135 cm.


The Red-breasted Goose on migration occurred mainly in Western and Northern Kazakhstan; in valley of Ural river 60 km east of Uralsk and in Volga-Ural region, and also in Naurzum Reserve. In the returning of Red-breasted Goose to the wintering places on Caspian Sea, its numbers on migration in Turgay depression began to increase from 1987 and now Red-breasted Geese are common in Naurzum Reserve (up to several thousand birds on 1990-1997) and in Northern Kazakhstan (7.5 thousand birds on 1995). More rare it observed on Kurgaldzhin lakes (17-23 April 1977), in Pavlodar oblast (recently 2-3 flocks of 10-15 birds each autumn), on Syrdarya river, in Zaysan depression and Ile river delta. Accidental birds recorded on northern chink of Ustyurt (10 October 1949, 12 birds), on Kopa river (31 March 2001), and on Markakol lake (2 October 1900).


The Red-breasted Goose is common, locally rare or accidental, passage migrant. Occurs on fresh and salty lakes in independent flocks, and together with other geese or Ruddy Shelduck. In spring migrates end March – mid-April to beginning of May; in autumn – from end September to early November (mainly in first half of October). Red Data Books of Kazakhstan, Russia and IUCN. The hunting to Red-breasted Goose is illegal.


"Птицы Казахстана" том 1. АН КазССР. Алма-Ата, 1960.
Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005
В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург, Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000.
Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999.


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