Tutu Nene (Hawaiian Goose), Size Small by Peavian Logic
The Nēnē, Hawai’i’s State Bird, is an endangered species found only in Hawai’i. A handsome bird, with a dark head and striped neck, it is very approachable in the wild. The non-migratory nēnē (Hawaiian goose) nests often in a kipuka, patches of grass and shrubs surrounded by lava. Scientists believe that its ancestor is the Canada goose which accidentally migrated to Hawai’i long ago.
There were originally at least 7 kinds of geese in Hawai’i. Nēnē were probably found on all 8 main islands at both high and low elevations. By the time Captian Cook arrived in 1778, all but the nēnē were likely extinct. About 25,000 nēnē were present by then, mostly at higher elevations on two islands. By 1950, fewer than 50 birds remained. This was the result of introduced predators, grazing animals, hunting and other disturbance of nēnē habitat. As a result of an intensive captive breeding program and greater consciousness about protecting this endangered bird, there are now about 3000 birds state wide.