Nene Goose: The state bird of Hawaii, aka the Hawaiian Goose, is a medium sized goose with a black head and nape that contrasts with yellow-buff cheeks. Upperparts are heavily barred gray-brown and the underparts are finely barred. Bill and feet are black and only partially webbed.
Range and Habitat
Nene Goose: This native of the Hawaiian Islands is local on Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Mauna Loa, and Maui. Recentely established and increasing on Kauai and Molokai. Prefers scrubland, grassland, sparsely vegetated slopes and golf courses.
The native Hawaiian name, Nene, is derived from their distinctive "nay-nay" vocalization. The official bird of the State of Hawaii, the Nene is exclusively found in the wild on the islands of Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii. It is also known as the Hawaiian Goose.
Prior to the arrival of Capt. James Cook in 1778, there were about 25,000 Nene. By the mid 1900's, wild Nene numbered less than 30. Breeding programs at Slimbridge in England and Pohakuloa, Hawaii have helped bring the current population in Hawaii up to about 3,000 birds.
Unlike most other geese, Nene are non-migratory, generally only island wide movement is known to occur. Nene have also been called "semi terrestrial," in that the toe webbing is reduced. The reduction of webbing between their toes enables them to walk more easily on the rugged lava flows.
A group of geese has many collective nouns, including a "blizzard", "chevron", "knot", "plump", and "string" of geese.