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Hawaiian Goose - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by gophish
Big Island, Hawaii, 1 November 2012

Alternative Name: Nene

Branta sandvicensis


Photo © by Cubbybear1963
Pu'u O'o Trail, Hawaii, 16 May 2015

56–71 cm (22-28 in)

  • Black head
  • Buff cheeks
  • Black bill, legs and feet

Female is slightly smaller


Hawaii. Limited to the islands of Maui, Kauai and Hawaii


This is a monotypic species[1].


Traditionally they were found on lava flows with sparse vegetation. Now they seem to prefer pastureland.



Female builds nest from scrape in the ground with a raised perimeter made of excavated soil, leaves, small twigs, and other litter. Clutch is usually two to four white eggs, with occasional larger clutches from egg dumping.


They have a mainly vegetarian diet, consisting of berries, grass, herbs and leaves.


Similar to those of Canada Goose, but quieter.


Mostly sedentary, but some altitudinal movement noted.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandvicensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/52820 on 22 January 2020).
  3. Banko, P. C., J. M. Black, and W. E. Banko (1999). Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandvicensis), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (A. F. Poole and F. B. Gill, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bna.434
  4. BirdLife International 2017. Branta sandvicensis (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22679929A112386209. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-1.RLTS.T22679929A112386209.en. Downloaded on 22 January 2020.
  5. Pratt, H.D., Bruner, P., and Berrett, D.G. (1987) A Field Guide to the Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific. Princeton University Press
  6. Pyle, R.L., and P. Pyle. 2017. The Birds of the Hawaiian Islands: Occurrence, History, Distribution, and Status. B.P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI, U.S.A. Version 2 (1 January 2017) http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/birds/rlp-monograph/

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1