For 22 days we’re adding a new Birdorable bird every day as part of our Birdorable Bonanza 2012. We’re counting up to our 400th species! Today we introduce the Birdorable Hawaiian Goose! The Hawaiian Goose is the official... Read more »
The Nene, or Hawaiian Goose, is species of waterfowl endemic to Hawaii. Today these geese are naturally found on the islands of Maui, Kaua'i and the Big Island.
The Nēnē is the state bird of Hawaii. Unfortunately, the species is in trouble, and its threatened conservation status makes it among the most rare species of goose found on Earth. In 2012, there are about 800 Nene living in the wild, plus another 1000 in captivity. Hawaiian Geese breed successfully in captivity; breeding programs were instrumental in saving this species from extinction when the population was at an all-time low of 30 birds in the early 1950's.
Males and females share similar plumage, though males are about 10% larger than females. Nēnē have dark heads and grey bodies; the dark striping on their buffy necks is distinctive.