Meet the Nene

The nene (pronounced naynay) is a special bird to Hawaii. For starters, it’s an endangered species. It is also Hawaii’s state bird. 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.

About Sheila Beal

Sheila Beal is the founder and editor of Go Visit Hawaii. You can connect with Sheila Beal on Twitter, Go Visit Hawaii on Facebook, or Sheila Beal on Google+.


  1. I love the nene geese and have seen them several times while hiking at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. One of their favorite foods is the native red ‘ohelo berry.

  2. Thanks, HVG, for your comment. I don’t know why, but I had the impression that those berries were poisonous. I guess not. 🙂

  3. I saw a mother and 2 baby nenes at the Ritz Carlton in Maui yesterday. First time! They were really cool. I tried to take a picture but they ran really fast! Do you happen to have any info on how fast they run? It seemed like they were going really fast!

  4. Hi Jenna – sorry, I don’t have any information on how fast they run.

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