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Species (Branta leucopsis) of waterbird that resembles a small Canada goose, with dark back, white face, and black neck and bib. It winters in the northern British Isles and on the coasts of Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands. In the Middle Ages, it was thought to hatch from barnacles, and thus was considered fish and could be eaten on Fridays.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on barnacle goose, visit Britannica.com.