What Is The State Bird Of Hawaii? All Facts Explained

State Bird Of Hawaii

Hawaii is a small island state with over 1.4 million population and is located in the west of the United States. Like any other state, this state also has state animal and state bird.

The state animal of Hawaii is the Hawaiian monk seal but what is the state bird?

The answer to this is the Nene which is also known as the Hawaiian Goose. It became the state bird in 1957 and it is a large-sized, cream tan, and black-colored bird.

But why this bird was chosen as the state bird of Hawaii? How do they behave? Such questions are often questioned when Hawaii state bird is referred.

And In this article, I’ve covered all the facts about the Hawaii state bird in detail. 

Why is the Nene goose the state bird for Hawaii?

The Nene also known as the Hawaiian goose is their state bird. In the past time, this island was populated with the Nene birds but now only 2000 to 4000 birds are remaining.

The purpose of choosing this bird as the state bird of Hawaii is to make it a part of an education campaign that aims to tell the importance of preserving nature and native bird species.

This bird was also added to the Federal List of Endangered Species in 1967. The state of Hawaii also worked with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in England to raise the Nene birds outside Hawaii. After which the foreign-reared birds were reintroduced to the state.

This step helped in reducing inbreeding. In 1949, only 20 to 30 birds remained but the late Sir Peter Scott took two birds of the birds to England where they bred them.

Now, more than 200 birds have spawned from the two relocated birds and were reintroduced to the Hawaiian islands. 

When did the Nene become the state bird for Hawaii?

Until 1957, Hawaii hadn’t had any official bird. Hawaii remained a US territory at that time. But Alaska and Hawaii got their state status in 1959. Therefore, Hawaii had a state bird before it became a state. 

What does the state bird of Hawaii look like?

The Nene bird looks similar to that of a Canadian goose. They both have a blackhead with a matching crown, feet, bill, and face. While they have a cream-colored neck with brown or grey plumage.

Some scientists believe that the Nene evolved from the Canadian goose. The Nene bird measures up to 25 inches in length and has a wingspan of 11 to 12 inches. The weight of these birds is around 3.3 pounds to 6.6 pounds. 

How do Nenes behave?

Nenes generally live in the wild on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, Oahu, and Molokai. These birds are monogamous for life and remain married for life.

When two birds find themselves attracted to each other, the male Nene goose begins a subtle courtship by chasing off any rival males who approach.

This makes the female goose know that the male goose cares for her. The nesting season of these birds starts in October and March. When it comes to eggs, these birds can lay one to five eggs per brood. 

They have oval-shaped, cream or white-colored eggs. The incubation period of these birds is 30 to 32 days in which the male bird guards the nest and cares for the female. They can have only one brood per year. 

The babies can learn to fly at the age of 80 days which can also increase up to 100 days. They fly with the flock with their parents for almost a year.

With the next breeding season, the parents become busy making siblings for the baby birds.

The young nenes reach their sexual maturity at the age of two or three years and they begin to search for their own partner. They also build a nest, court, marry, mate, and produce a brood each year. 

Do Nenes form communities?

Yes, Nenes belong to a community but they build their nuclear families within a flock. However, they do not share their nest. The flock of these birds can make small migratory adjustments together.

These birds generally make their nest on the elevated volcanic slopes in areas that have scrub vegetation. They also prefer isolated areas in pastures, scrub forests, and grasslands.

The Nene birds are not picky about human contact, therefore, they can also build their home in a park or golf course.

What do Nenes eat?

The diet of Nene includes flowers, seeds, leaves, and berries. Their vegetarian diet has many tropical delights.

Most birds have a small list of items for their diet but the Hawaiian goose can eat more than 30 species of plant that are native to the state. 

How does the nene goose differ from the other geese?

The nene prefers to live the entire year in the same habitat. However, Nene is the only geese on the islands that can fly but not for long distances.

These birds can migrate short distances within the islands to find better food sources. While the other goose types can’t fly at all.

These birds cannot swim and it is very rare to find them in water. When they enter the water, they are apt to walk in it.

The feet of Nene are evolved for walking and lack some webbing that other geese species possess. Their feet can have a better grip on the volcanic terrain of the island. 


Nene or Hawaiian Goose is the state bird of Hawaii it got this status in 1957. These birds had a large population in the past time but it was later become endangered.

These birds are monogamous and form pairs for the life. They are similar to Canadian goose but have few dissimilarities.

At last, I hope this article might have helped you in some way. Thank you For Reading!

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