Hawaii State Bird
Hawaiian Goose (common name)
Branta sandwicensis (scientific name)
The nene, or Hawaiian goose, is the world's rarest goose, found only on the Hawaiian Islands. It was adopted as the official state bird of Hawaii in 1957. The nene is a medium-sized goose with a black crown, face, and bill, a vividly striped neck, yellowish cheeks, and black semi-webbed feet. Its back is grayish-brown with thick stripes, its belly lighter in color with fine stripes. Like other geese, nene swim in ponds and lakes. Flocks of nenes make a communal cackling sound. While in flight the goose has a two-part honking call of "nay-nay," hence its name.
ALSO KNOWN AS
Nene, nene goose
When threatened, the nene will face rivals with its head and neck pointed downward while vibrating its neck feathers. At other times, it may charge them with erect neck feathers while honking aggressively or bite them in the neck while beating them with its wings.
Nenes inhabit grasslands, scrub forests, and sparsely vegetated volcanic slopes. They breed in coastal lowlands and grassy areas.
Range: Small populations on the islands of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai.
Migration: Some flocks migrate between lowland breeding grounds and foraging areas in the hills.
Conservation Status: Hunting the nene was banned in 1907, but by 1940 they were on the verge of extinction because of predation by intrusive species (mongooses, dogs, cats) and loss of habitat. Currently they are on the Federal List of Endangered Species, and the population of around 800 birds is slowly growing.
Nesting Period: August-April
Size of Clutch: 2-3 eggs
Incubation Period: 29-32
Egg Description: White
Canada goose, Brent goose
The nene’s scientific name (Branta sandwicensis) comes from the Sandwich Islands, which is what the Hawaiian Islands were originally dubbed by James Cook on one of his voyages in the 1770s. Nenes are unique among geese in having feet that are not completely webbed.
Click to enlarge an image
|Author: World Trade Press|