Hawaii State Bird

Hawaii state bird: Nene, or Hawaiian Goose Branta sandwicensis

Hawaii State Bird Description:

  • Size: 21 to 27 inches ( cm)
  • Wingspan: 11 to 12 inches ( cm)
  • Weight: 4 to 5 pounds (1.8 to 2.3 kg)

The Nene (Hawaiian Goose) is a medium sized goose. It has a black face and crown with cream-colored cheeks. The neck is buff colored with black streaks and a dark, narrow ring at the base. The upperparts are grey-brown with lighter coloring on the edges of the feathers. The bill, legs, and feet are black and the eyes are dark brown.

The female looks the same as the male only slightly smaller.

Habitat:

The Nene is indigenous to the big island of Hawaii. They are found in open areas including volcanoes and golf courses. New bird populations have been re-introduced to the islands of Kauai and Maui.

Range:

The Nene is only found in the wild on the islands of Maui, Kauai and Hawaii.

Diet:

Hawaiian Geese eat the seeds of grasses, leaves, buds, flowers and fruits of various plants.

Nesting:

Nesting normally begins in October. Nesting sites are normally found in vegetated areas near the beach, shrub lands, grasslands, and woodlands on well-drained soil, volcanic ash, cinder, and lava rock substrates.

The clutch normally contains 3 eggs.

A Few Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Hawaii State Bird:

  • The Nene is the sixth most endangered waterfowl species worldwide. They used to live on all the main Hawaiian islands with a population believed to be as large as 25,000 birds. Hunting and introduced predators such as mongooses, pigs, and cats reduced the population to 30 birds by 1952. It was listed as an endangered species in 1967.
  • Recovery efforts have included captive rearing and release, predator removal, supplemental food sources, and restoration of native habitats. While their future is still uncertain, approximately 500 Nene exist in the wild today.

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