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Aloha Nene

Aloha Nene
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-03-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Canon 55-200mm EF f/4.5-5.6 II USM, Digital ISO 100, UV 52mm Marumi
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Geese from around the world., Ducks II, Animal Portraits II, Birds / Aves, RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 1, A study in Ornithology (birds) 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-06-09 18:04
Viewed: 5954
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 62
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hawaiian goose - Branta sandvicensis

I have photographed this guy at the Umgeni Bird Park in Durban. As scarce as they are in nature, so they are on TN as this is only the 6th photo of a Nene on the site.

Something about this Goose

This is the world's rarest goose. Once common, hunting and introduced predators have reduced their numbers to 30 in the wild before preservation efforts brought it back from the brink of extinction through heroic captive propagation efforts.

The Nene has endured a long struggle against extinction. During the 1940s, this beautiful species was almost wiped out by laws which allowed the birds to be hunted during their winter breeding seasons when the birds were the most vulnerable.

By 1957, when the Nene was named as Hawaii's State Bird, rescue efforts were underway. Conservationists began breeding the birds in captivity in hopes of preserving a remnant of the declining population and, someday, successfully re-establishing them in their native habitat. Early programs for returning captive-bred birds to the wild proved difficult, but recent efforts have been very successful.

Somewhat similar in appearance to a Canada Goose except only the face, cap, and hindneck are black; and Nene have buff-colored cheeks. The front and sides of the neck appear to have black and white stripes. This is caused by diagonal rows of white feathers with black skin showing through. Males and females have identical plumage. It is also interesting to note that the dusty black feet of this goose are not completely webbed as in all other geese. 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. Usually smaller than the Canada Goose (63-110cm), the Nene ranges in size from approximately 53-66cm in length.

Small but stable populations are found on the islands of Hawai'i, Maui, and Kaua'i.

A variety of calls have been heard and described, mostly soft and apparently conversational in nature. The loudest and most commonly recognised call is very similar to that of the Canada Goose, a resonant "honk" or "ha-wah". Its Hawaiian name comes from its soft call.

It feeds on both native and introduced plants in the grasslands and slopes where it lives.

The breeding season runs through the winter months, typically between November and March.

According to the Hawai'i Audubon Society, the Nene, currently on the Federal List of Endangered Species, is threatened today by introduced mongooses, feral dogs, and cats which relentlessly prey upon the Nene's eggs and young. Preservation efforts are continuing and the success of the Nene in Hawai'i, although not a certainty, is promising. There are now about 800 wild birds in Hawai'i and the numbers are rising with each breeding season. Source.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

lovenature, Robespierre, SkyF, Luc, ellis49, valy67, annagrace, ramthakur, scottevers7, thor68, jeanpaul, dew77, coasties, soccer, SunToucher, Athila, janhendrik, pilonm, saguzar, jchemas, marhowie, firelord, TAZ, Dyker, Miss_Piggy, Rehanna, betsie has marked this note useful
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To SunToucher: Montana on the runloot 1 06-12 14:56
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-06-09 18:16]

Hi Loot,
A cute goose that I never saw. Perfect portrait, with very good details, POV and pose.
TFS, José M.

Hi Loot,

I always love to hear good new stories. Your notes are awesome as always.

I love the detail of this Nene feathers, and the his colours are very unique too. TFS Janice

PS We have a similar story with the Whooping Crane in North America. The Wooping Crane was almost wiped out too, but with a great effort, is making a slow comeback.

Hi Loot,
Very nice portrait of this goose. Bright natural colours, good detailed image.
Informative note too, well done.
Regards, Ruud

so cute and sweet photo goose;-))

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-06-09 19:44]

Hello Loot,
this is a beautiful portrait! Exellent sharp details and very nice colors. POV and DOF are great.

Hi loot,
it's a beautiful goose and you captured very well.
The DOF is very good, almost the entire bird is in focus only the neck it a bit soft and the BG is nicely blurred, the goose standout well from the BG. The details and POV are also very good. You handle the fill-in flash well too. And the note is great as usual.
Excellent work, mf.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-06-10 3:20]

Aloha, Loot.
I love your nene. You have captured his beautiful colors.
He has a curious expression on him. Great catchlight in the eye.
DOF skillfully managed to bring out this very endangered subject.
The details on the head are incredibly sharp.
I have seen groups of nenes on the various islands,
but most recently in Kauai.
They are wonderful to watch.
Mahalo for the memories, my friend. : )

This goose is cute ! Such a pity that it has become so rare. Details on the eye, the beak and the feathers are excellent. beautiful colors and great composition. DOF and BG are excellent as well, highlighting the goose's head very nicely. Very well done !

Wonderful sharpness on the face and the DOF is absolutely perfect. Well done, Loot!


Hi Loot,
Beautiful goose and excellent shot! Excellent sharpness and clarity, great framing and OOF background.
Really nice one mf!

A superb close-up shot of this beautiful and endangered species, Loot.
I am enamoured by the glint in its lovely eye.
Great POV, DOF and colours.
Get well soon; we need your morale boosting critiques!
Take care.

Hi Loot,
Greeting from the road trip to Florida! A superb portrait of the Nene. Your composition and framing are flawless here. Fill flash exposure did a great job. You have captured every bit of beautiful color and sharp detail possible in this shot. Your notes are outstanding. When I was on Haleakala Volcano on the island of Maui, I saw some in the wild,but could not get clos enough to photograph them. Very well done!

beautiful shot & a superb note, loot! :-)
an awesomely sharp and detailed portrait
of the "poor" goose - good to read, there
are still some left and fighting against
extinction. the reddish-brown colors are
very nice and i was wondering if you could be
seen in the clear dark eye.
outstanding job & get well soon, thor.

Bonjour Loot

Très belle composition, les couleurs et la netteté sont parfaites. La lumière et l'environnement et le flash en font une superbe photo. il est magnifique le plumage de cette oiseau.Tu as très bien su capter son regard.

Félicitation et bonne journée.....Jp

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-06-12 5:28]

Hello Loot,
Magnificent portrait.I liked POV,framing,catchlight in eyes,
expression on face,colors and composition a lot.


never seen this one before. Another great pic that is well composed and has a good POV, BG and Lighting. I like the catch light in the eye. TFS,

Hi Loot,
What a beautiful photo of this very intersting goose. The colors of this goose are really wonderfull. I really like the way you've captured it. The details in the feathers and beak. Your DOF and lighting is perfect, with a little twinkel in the eye. I think I can see you in the eye as well.

Well, I am leaving for a 4 week vacation to Montana, so you won't hear from me for a while.

Thanks my friend.


  • Great 
  • Athila Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 239 N: 493] (1982)
  • [2006-06-12 21:03]

Hi Loot!

Nice portrait! I am kind of surprise of the quality of that zoom. I tought it was a low budget, low quality lens, but it seem quite sharp and not contaminated with flare. Image is well exposed. Shallow DOF looks great and burst of flash added a nice glitter in the eye.

Great shot Loot and TFS.

Hallo Loot,

Hierdie is 'n baie mooi gans. Die komposisie is mooi, die agtergrond uit fokus. Die onderwerp is mooi skerp en in fokus. Goed gedoen en ek hou van die nota. Goed gedoen.


Hello Loot

I hope this visit finds you feeling better. Sorry you are 'under the weather'. Wrap up warm and drink lots of hot toddies. Stunning capture. Love the close details. The plumage colour is quite amazing. Detail is tack sharp. Exposure, spot on and the catchlight brings the eye ti life. All round top shot! Thank you! Take care my friend.

What a wonderful close-up, Loot! Colors looks so natural! And even if black is difficutl to render you managed so well the exposition that we can easily see all the subtility of that "color" here. bg, composition and dof cannot be better too! I also read your so interesting note and hope that someday it will be very common to take pictures of that bird. After fighing for so long for its survival, this goose deserve to have a break....

TFS, Loot!


  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2006-06-13 13:40]

great head loot,
a fantastic close portrait, good details and a marvelous pov, very nice to look at, well done.
gr. jaap

Very nice portrait capture of this native Hawaiian. They sure are beautiful geese, they look like mini versions of the Canadian goose. It's pretty exciting to know that the conservation efforts are improving the numbers of these lovely waterfowl. :)

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-06-13 16:42]

Hello Loot , A Very great portret from the goose , beautifull colours details great pov and bg , tfs Greetings Teunie .

Hello Loot,
Very good fiorst plane of this unknown to me beautiful goose species,is a pity and a shame that it is near extinction.
Details are fine, seems that there is a good post procesing. Blurred BG works well.
Of course, the note, as usual, very interesting, complete and useful.
Best regards

Great portrait of this goose Loot.
Great composition, very sharp colors and beautiful details.
Excellent POV and BG, great framing too.

Lovely profile capture Loot.
I see excellent color, light, sharpness, detail, and DOF..Your subject pops against the nicely blurred BG.
Very well done mf!
See ya later.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-06-29 3:14]

What a lovely portrait that you have very well done ! I like the expression of this nice goose details in feathers. Colors, exposure, DOF and sharpness are very good. Instructive note also...
Congratulations Loot and thanks for sharing.

Hallo Loot
This is a super sharp and really striking capture and you have managed to photograph it with brilliantly. For me the greatest attraction is the white circled and shining big black eye. The contours and markings on the beak are also clearly visible and display well against your backdrop. A really nice and beautiful capture of this portrait of this Hawaian Goose. Well managed exposure of the black feathers on the head. Well done on a great shot. Lovely details you presented here.Thanks for sharing this lovely image and once again your accompaning note was detailed and a pleasure to read.

Hello Loot

Ek het al baie gaanse en eende in my lewe gesien, maar ek kan nie onthou dat ek al ooit een gesien het met sulke interessante nek vere nie. Daardie kort, pik-swart bekkie is net so belangwekkend. Hierdie outjie staan so mooi uit in die foto vanweë die feit dat jy hom so goed van die agtergrond geisoleer het.

Ek het nou al 'n hele paar van jou voël fotos bekyk wat jy in Durban se Umgeni voëlpark afgeneem het. Ek dink regtig ek moet 'n plan maak om ook soontoe te gaan. Dit lyk na 'n puik fasiliteit. Dankie vir al die inligting wat jy so mildelik verskaf het in van die ander bydraes.


Hi Loot
What a beautiful animal!! I like the way you captured the flowing colours.

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