The Red-breasted Goose is the smallest of the northern geese and the most boldly patterned. The genus name, Branta is from the Anglo-Saxon brennan, ‘to burn’ and refers to the reddish-brown color. The species name ruficollis is from the Latin rufus, ‘red’ and collus, ‘the neck.’ The coloring of the upper and lower plumage shows a combination of black and white. In particular, there is a stripe or band on the sides and a conspicuous under-tail and a white mark on the cheeks. The neck and breast are rich reddish brown and are separated from the black under-parts by a white stripe. The small delicate bill, legs and feet are black. Sexes look alike, but immature birds have a paler color. The length is 20 to 22 inches and the weight is about 3.5 pounds. The wingspan is 48 inches.