Hawaiian Nene Goose


About Hawaiian Nene Goose


Pronounced “nay nay”, the Hawaiian Nene Goose is Hawaii’s official state bird. One of 48 remaining species of birds endemic to Hawaii, the Hawaiian Nene Goose has been a protected species since 1949. Often nesting in grasslands, coastal shrubberies, and lava plains.


Descendants of the Giant Canada Goose which migrated to the islands of Hawaii about 500,000 years ago, the Hawaiian Nene Goose we see today has evolved and adapted to survive in Hawaii. The wingspan has become shorter as the species no longer migrates, and it’s webbed feet have grown claws to better walk the rough ground of it’s habitat.

The Hawaiian Nene Goose was hunted by humans for it’s feathers and hunted by species introduced to Hawaii like the mongoose, pigs, and cats. In 1952 the population was so threatened there were only 30 birds left in the wild. As of recent there are an estimated 800 Nene living wild in Hawaii, and another 1,000 in zoos around the world.

Facts & Trivia

  • Insider Tip: The soft call of the Hawaiian Nene Goose is where this gracious bird got it's name.
  • Fun Fact: The Hawaiian Nene Goose is the rarest goose in the world, be sure observe them from a distance!
  • Pop Culture: When John James Audubon's famous work "Birds of America" was first published in 1840, the Hawaiian Nene Goose had not been studied by this time and is not included in the book.