Hawaii State Bird
Adoption of the Hawaii State Bird
Nene, or Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandwicensis), was designated the official state bird of Hawaii on May 7, 1957.
About the Hawaii State Bird
The Hawaiian Goose or Nene, Branta sandvicensis, is a species of goose endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. It shares a recent common ancestor with Branta canadensis, the Canada Goose. The official bird of the State of Hawai'i, the Nene is exclusively found in the wild of the islands of Mau'i, Kaua'i and Hawai'i.
The Nene gets its Hawaiian name from its soft call.
The species has a black head, buff cheeks and heavily furrowed neck. Bill, legs and feet are black. The young birds are as the male but duller brown and with less demarcation between the colors of the head and neck, and striping and barring effects are much reduced. Bill, legs and feet as for the adult.
The female Hawaiian Goose is similar to the male in coloring but slightly smaller.
Its strong toes have much reduced webbing, an adaptation to the lava flows on which it breeds. It mates on land unlike most other wildfowl.
This is the world's rarest goose. Once common, hunting and introduced predators such as mongooses, pigs, and cats reduced the population to 30 birds by 1952. However, this species breeds well in captivity, and has been successfully re-introduced so that now (2004) it is estimated that there are 500 birds in the wild (and good numbers in wildfowl collections).
The Hawaii Revised Statutes
The following information is excerpted from the Hawaii Revised Statutes, Chapter 5, Section 5-17.
CHAPTER 5 - EMBLEMS AND SYMBOLS.
Nene, or Hawaiian Goose: Aloha-Hawaii.com.
State Bird List: List of all of the state birds.
Enjoying Birds and Other Wildlife in Hawaii: by H. Douglas Pratt.
State Birds & Flowers 1000-pc Puzzle: Created at the request of The National Wildlife Federation this design is a beautiful and informative puzzle featuring every state bird perched on the appropriate state flower.
State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002
Source: Hawaii Revised Statutes, (http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/?press1=docs), April 7, 2005
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