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Hawaiian Goose

ID Info
  • Hawaiian Goose
  • Hawaiian Goose
  • Hawaiian Goose  video
Silhouette GeeseGeese
Hawaiian GooseBranta sandvicensis
  • ORDER: Anseriformes
  • FAMILY: Anatidae

Basic Description

With its buttery yellow cheeks, grooved neck feathers, and stubby bill, the little Hawaiian Goose is one of the most distinctive geese in the world. This species, often known by its Hawaiian name Nene, almost went extinct in the 1950s, when only 30 individuals remained. Thanks to a large reintroduction program and a surprising adaptability, Hawaiian Geese now number several thousand birds. Although capable of swimming, Nene are adapted for life on land and do not need freshwater or saltwater habitats like most other waterfowl.

More ID Info
image of range map for Hawaiian Goose
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Hawaiian Geese are among the world’s rarest geese, but they are often quite tame and unafraid of humans, making them relatively easy to find. On Kauai, they occur in parks, residential areas, and on golf courses, among other spots. Haleakala National Park (on Maui) and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (on the island of Hawaii) offer chances to see it in dramatic volcanic settings.

Other Names

  • Barnacla Nené (Spanish)
  • Bernache néné (French)
  • Cool Facts