Brant

Branta bernicla
Brant are black and white sea geese that depends on the eelgrass meadows of Willapa Bay/USFWS Photo

This small, dark goose is almost exclusively coastal and has a well-developed salt gland that makes it possible for them to drink salt water. Gathering in large flocks, brant migrate through, and winter at, Willapa Bay and occassional fall and winter visitors to Julia Butler Hansen Refuge. Uncover more about brant…

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge was designated, in part, to protect brant in the 1930s. During this era, coastal wetlands and shallow bays along the Pacific Coast were being diked and drained at an alarming rate. There are very few shallow bays remaining on the Pacific Coast. The shallow waters of Willapa Bay host large expanses of eelgrass meadows, important winter food and habitat for the brant. Although brant will eat other aquatic vegetation, eelgrass is its primary winter forage. Brant populations and eelgrass declined in the bay beginning in the mid-1980s, partly due to the spread of spartina, a non-native and invasive plant. Learn more about the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge’s efforts to eradicate this pesky plant…

Facts About Brant

Mates for life

Shortest tail of any goose

It is primarily a sea goose