The International Brant Monitoring Project
Brant Exhibits

Special observations by people interested in brant are shared on this page If you have something to add, please let us know!

César Iván Manríquez Castro, Coordinador Educativo for Pro Esteros in Baja California, Mexico took students to Punta Banda to see the salt marsh and look for brant on December 11, 2014.

Ivan with students in the marsh Brant in Punta Banda Punta Banda Marsh

Photos by Liliana Ortiz, Biologist at Pro Esteros

Shirley Doell sent this link to a video she posted on YouTube:
These observations were over several days. Up to about 250 brant were in the San Diego River November 15th, 19th, 20th and 21st. She estimates that they were about 10% juveniles. She was able to read 18 VID bands, and reported them to the bird banding lab and received a response with information about most of the individuals she saw. She reports that it's lots of fun to find out the origins and sex of the brant.

My name is Mandy Van Dellen and I am a graduate student at the University of Nevada, Reno. I have been working on Dr. Sedinger’s long term brant study on the breeding grounds on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Alaska for 4 seasons now. Reading brant bands is the most important and challenging work we do every season and I would like to share our protocol with the rest of the brant community with the goal that we can increase the number of correct band reads the BBL receives from the general public. Band reading is not easy and is by far the most challenging skill for technicians to learn every year. It takes patience and practice and skill to be a good band reader. I hope you will find the following information useful.

Click here for a 2 page pdf (150 KB) field protocol that you can print out (IN COLOR!!!) and bring into the field with you. Please pay attention to the possible color combinations as well as the potential symbols. These are the ONLY color combinations and the ONLY symbols that you will see on a band. Take note that some symbols, for example “T” and “I” can be easily confused, which is why it is crucial to verify the “top” and “bottom” of each symbol. Also, please note how the colors fade dramatically with wear.

Also note, the order that you read the bands is important. K8N Black is not the same band as N8K Black. Typically the bands are read from the direction of the foot to the body, though there are times when the band was put on upside down. It is still possible to read the band in this situation; you just have to concentrate harder as you read the band from left to right.

Several people have been taking lovely photos of banded brant. These photos are super helpful and allow us to identify brant with 100% certainty, so carry on and always offer to supply the BBL with your photos. Consider shooting a lower power camera through a spotting scope for those far away birds.

César Iván Manríquez Castro, Coordinador Educativo at Pro Esteros, A. C. writes, "Hello! I'm very busy here in Ensenada. This year will bring a lot of work. I'm attaching a some pictures of our RARE campaign in San Quintín. The icon we choose for the campaign is the Brant.
We'd even made a mascot! (that's me, inside the brant, he, he)."



Foreman the Performin' Brant visits the classroom

Maynard Axelson raises brant on his farm on Fir Island in Skagit County, Washington. Every year he brings one of his brant to school to talk about brant geese with students participating in the Brant Monitoring Program.

Click here to download the movie (3.1 MB)


A Brant spent the summer in Mexico!

Photo by Magda Loyon Meling from Cloegio Ensenada School

It was a sunny day in Punta Banda Estuary (Ensenada, Baja California, México). The tide was high. I was with a group of students (between 16 and 17 years old). We were on a field trip studying the salt marsh and its inhabitants. There’s a trail which the visitor can walk down and learn about the local flora and fauna. We saw the Brant at the starting point of the trail. I asked the students to be very quiet and asked my friend Enrique Zamora (he has good bird identification skills) to confirm my identification. We agreed it was a Brant, even though it didn’t looked very good. We thought it could be sick, because it didn’t fly. As we got closer, it just walked away a few steps, and then stopped and started to feed on Pickleweed (Salicornia bigelovii). We were very close to it, but it didn’t move. Maybe it was not afraid or maybe it couldn’t fly or swim.
Story by César Iván Manríquez Castro

Brant Art by Edith and Rose Tate



Inspired by their experience of counting Brant in Padilla Bay, Edith, age 11, and Rose, age 8, created this art. Edith and Rose are homeschool students from Mt Vernon who participated in the International Brant Monitoring project in February 2006.

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Brant Goslings

These brant geese were photographed on a farm in Washington State on Fir Island in the Skagit River Delta. Maynard Axelson raises them as pets and is an ardent supporter of wild brant geese.

In the wild, brant geese lay their eggs in the tundra in Alaska, Canada and Russia. The newborn brant are able to walk and swim within a day after being born and are able to fly just seven weeks later.


Brant dig or find a small depression in which to build their nests. Since the weather can be extremely cold, even in summer, they protect the eggs with thick layers of down in the nest. The average brant pair lays about 4 eggs, however, not all of these will survive to birth. Weasels, foxes and some native people eat the eggs. Cold weather and floods can also destroy eggs. Both parents continue to protect their young for some time. It will be another three years before these chicks can have young of their own.

Russian Brant

Guy L. Monty of Parksville BC, Canada took this picture of a black brant March 1, 2005. Parksville is on the east side of Vancouver Island just up the coast from Nanaimo.

This is the same individual seen at Parksville Bay in March 2004. The Russian banding office confirmed it was banded as an adult on July 11, 2003 on the Lena River estuary, Yakutia, Russia. It is currently paired with an un-banded black Brant.

It sure would be interesting to know where it's going to nest this year!

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Migration of Juvenile Brant

John Roser of Morro Bay, California noticed that as the numbers of brant increased, the percent of juveniles decreased from November to December. He documented this trend two years in a row.

What does that suggest about a difference in the timing of migration of juveniles and adults?

John also observed that the total number of brant and the proportion of juveniles in Morro Bay stayed relatively constant from early December until mid January.

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Brant Song by the Club de Investigacion de Aves

by: Club de Investigacion de Aves
(Secundaria #35, Emiliano Zapata)

¿Quien sera la gente
que cuidara de la branta?
que no se extinga
como muchas otras aves

¿Quien cuide de ti
y cuide tu especie,
quien te podra salvar
de los seres humanos?

Quisiera ser yo
quien pueda ayudarte
para proteger
el lugar donde vives.

¡Te podemos salvar!

Who would be the people
who would take care of the brant?
so it won’t become extinct
as many other birds

Who could take care of you
and take care of your species?
who could save you
from human beings.

I wish it could be me
who could help you
to protect the place
where you live.

We can save you!


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