Hawaiian Geese
(Néné - 2,500)

The Official State Bird of Hawaii since 1957 when their population was down to 30 individuals. It is the world's rarest goose with only around 2000 living in the wild, over 1000 on Kaua'i. The néné have feet that are only half as webbed as other geese, with longer toes for climbing on rocks and the rocky lava flows. They fly only rarely as their wings are weak. Their call is soft and seems conversational in nature. Two to three eggs are laid in the winter months from November to January that the hens incubate for 30 days in tall grasses. The goslings remain flightless for three months so are vulnerable to predators, especially dogs off leash. They mate for life and have been known to live up to 32 years. In the winter of 2010 as many as 60 néné were seen performing their breeding rituals on two of our lakeside lawns, with some nesting in the taller grasses at Kalihiwai Reservoir that year.  Many flocks also fly in regularly to forage year round at our lakeside shoreline.  There are currently 386 on Maui, 480 on Hawai`i, and 112 on Moloka`i.  You see by these numbers Kaua`i is the island where their comeback is the most significant and successful.  At least a rare 8 more were born at shoreline at the Kalihiwai Reservoir.  They were nurtured for months by their mated for life parents during the 2012 breeding season as seen in the pictures below.