All the species of the Branta genus are distinguished by their general dark sooty colour, relieved in some by way by white of greater or less purity, and as a distinction from the members of the genus Anser, which are known as grey geese.
The goose winters in south eastern Europe. It is a rare vagrant to Britain and other western European countries, where odd birds are sometimes found with Brent flocks.
The bird is unmistakeable, but can be surprisingly difficult to find amongst Brent Geese due to its small size. The red also tends to look black at long distances.