Brant are now passing through (or preparing to spend the winter) in very large numbers. Feeding primarily on marine vegetation and grass, it is not unusual to observe flocks of several thousand individuals in coastal areas during the winter months. There are two subspecies recognized in New York. The Atlantic Brant (Branta bernicla hrota), sometimes referred to as the "light-bellied brant", breeds in northern and western Greenland, northern Canadian islands and the mainland coast west to about 100° W. The Pacific or "Black" Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) breeds in northern Canada from the Perry River region and nearby islands west to coastal Alaska. There have been several records of "Black" Brant in NYS. It has been proposed that the subspecies be split into full, separate species.