The nene (pronounced naynay) is a special bird to Hawaii. For starters, it’s an endangered species. It is also Hawaii’s state bird. Coffeetimes.com shares some interesting characteristics of this Hawaiian goose.
Nene breed in the Fall and Winter. The female incubates 1-5 eggs for 30 days while her often life-long partner watches guard. After hatching, the goslings won’t fledge for another 2 1/2 to 3 months. This is also the time that the adults replace their feathers and are temporarily flightless. It is the most vulnerable time for the nene as a flock. After this vulnerable period the nene can reach the age of 25, perhaps older, if allowed.
When you’re in Hawaii, the best places to see a nene in the wild are in the national and state parks. Hawaii Volcanoes Park on the Big Island and Haleakala National Park on Maui are common habitats for the nene. If you see roadside signs for the nene, please take extra precautions and keep within speed limits.
Photo credit to D. Knisley via flickr.