brant or brant goose, common name for a species of wild sea goose. The American brant, Branta bernicla, breeds in the Arctic and winters along the Atlantic coast. The head, neck, and tail are black, the back brownish gray, and the under parts grayish white. Eelgrass ( Zostera marina ) is their staple food. The Old World barnacle goose, B. leucopsis, so named because it was thought to grow out of barnacles attached to driftwood, is very similar to the brant and is an occasional visitor to North America. The black brant migrates from its arctic breeding grounds to the Pacific coast. White brant is an alternate name for the snow goose, which belongs to the same family, and gray, or prairie, brant refers to the American white-fronted goose. Brants are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Anseriformes, family Anatidae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.