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Hawaiian Goose

Hawaiian Goose
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-07-10
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/8, 1/800 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-04-13 7:23
Viewed: 2927
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Nene, also known as Nēnē and Hawaiian Goose, (Branta sandvicensis) is a species of goose endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. The official bird of the state of Hawaiʻi, the Nene is exclusively found in the wild on the islands of Maui, Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi. The Hawaiian name Nēnē comes from its soft call.

The Nene evolved from the Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), which most likely migrated to the Hawaiian islands 500,000 years ago, shortly after the island of Hawaiʻi was formed. This ancestor is the progenitor of the Nene as well as the prehistoric Giant Hawaiʻi Goose and Nēnē-nui (Branta hylobadistes). The Nēnē-nui was larger than the Nene, varied from flightless to flighted depending on the individual, and inhabited the island of Maui.

The Nene is a medium-sized goose at 41 centimetres tall. Although they spend most of their time on the ground, they are capable of flight, with some individuals flying daily between nesting and feeding areas. Females have a mass of 1.525–2.56 kilograms, while males average 1.695–3.05 kilograms, 11% larger than females. Adult males have a black head and hindneck, buff cheeks and heavily furrowed neck. The neck has black and white diagonal stripes. Aside from being smaller, the female Nene is similar to the male in colouration. The adult's bill, legs and feet are black. It has soft feathers under its chin. Goslings resemble the male, but are a duller brown and with less demarcation between the colours of the head and neck, and striping and barring effects are much reduced. The bill, legs and feet are the same as for the adult. Its strong toes are padded and have reduced webbing, an adaptation that allows it to swiftly traverse rough terrain such as lava plains.

Habitat and range
The Nene could at one time be found on the islands of Hawaiʻi, Maui, Kahoʻolawe, Lānaʻi, Molokaʻi, and Kauaʻi. Today, its range is restricted to Hawaiʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, and Kauaʻi. The Nene is an inhabitant of shrubland, grassland, coastal dunes, and lava plains, and related anthropogenic habitats such as pasture and golf courses from sea level to as much as 2,400 metres. Some populations migrated between lowland breeding grounds and montane foraging areas.

The breeding season of the Nene, from August to April, is longer than that of any other goose; most eggs are laid between November and January. Unlike most other waterfowl, the Nene mates on land. Nests are built by females on a site of their choosing, in which one to five eggs are laid. Females incubate the eggs for 29 to 32 days, while the male acts as a sentry. Goslings are precocial, able to feed on their own; they remain with their parents until the following breeding season.

The Nene is a herbivore that will either graze or browse, depending on the availability of vegetation. Food items include the leaves, seeds, fruit, and flowers of grasses and shrubs.

The Nene is the world's rarest goose. It is believed that it once was common, with approximately 25,000 Hawaiian Geese living in Hawaiʻi when Captain James Cook arrived in 1778. However, hunting and introduced predators, such as Small Asian 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; in 2004, it was estimated that there were 800 birds in the wild, as well as 1000 in wildfowl collections and zoos. However, there is some concern of inbreeding due to the small initial population of birds. The nature reserve, WWT Slimbridge, in England, was instrumental in the successful breeding of Hawaiian Geese in captivity. Under the direction of the leading conservationist Peter Scott, it was bred back from the brink of extinction during the 1950s for later re-introduction into the wild in Hawaiʻi. There are still Hawaiian Geese at Slimbridge today. They can now be found in captivity in every WWT centre. Successful introductions include Haleakala and Piʻiholo ranches on Maui.

Source: Parts of ‘Wikipedia.’

This photo is made in Weltvogelpark Walsrode in Germany.

KOMSIS, ramthakur, ellis49, goatman04, pegos, Alex99, cobra112, buscape, CeltickRanger, Marco2010, marius-secan, josediogo1958, Miss_Piggy has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2012-04-13 7:26]

Hallo Peter,
perfect timing ..
Exposure, sharp detail and colors are excellent. Well composed too.
Best wishes,

Brilliant action shot of this Nene shaking off water and scattering it in all directions, Peter.
The dispersed water is frozen at the split moment of action. Not an easy thing to do.
Well done and TFS!

Hello Peter,
a nice picture of the bathing goose, never seen this species before and neither heard of it.
Great timing, decent sharpness and nice colours.
Well done, mf.
Have a nice weekend.

Hello Peter.
This is one splashing image with such a stunning details. Love the water splash and exposure control rendering such an excellent shot.
Thanks and have a nice day.

hallo Peter
Super zo'n opname met dat gespetter in het water.
Goed van scherpte en mooie kleuren
bedankt weer ,hoop op een beetje zonnig weekend
groet lou

Hello Peter,
A very good shot,good moment.good sharpness and details and fantastic colours.-Congratulations!
Have a nice weekend!

Interesting species and impressive scene Peter! Perfect timing, very good composition and wonderful lighting!

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2012-04-13 8:43]

Hello Peter,
Nice action shot from your archives!
Excellent timing to show this Nene having a bath. Great POV, sharpness and natural colours in a pleasing composition.
Thanks and enjoy your weekend,

Hello Peter,
An interesting photo. Fantastic moment. A great splash of water.

Hi Peter,

Very nice moment, the water are just frozen in the air like ice :) Looks like the goose is having so much fun splashing like a little kid playing in a swimming pool.

Another beautiful shot.


Hello Peter,

What a great capture & timing with beautiful action & details. Very nicely done & TFS.

Best wishes


  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2012-04-13 9:53]

Hello Peter,
beautiful dynamic image with splendid lighting and bright colours; great timing and perfect POV. Compliments!
Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2012-04-13 10:53]

Hi Peter.
You have captured an excellent moment. Water spray gives a special charm to the scene. I like timing a lot as well as DOF and sharpness of the image of nice bird. Lights and colours are unusual and awesome. Compliments and have a nice weekend.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2012-04-13 11:15]

Hello Peter.
Very good shot Interesting moment Nice POV good sharpness and nice natural colors Also very informative note.Very good job.Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2012-04-13 11:39]

Hi Peter,great timing and very original and different way to show us a goose,the drops so brights everywhere are really fantastics! My best compliments,have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • pirate Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 799 W: 152 N: 1186] (7474)
  • [2012-04-13 11:54]

Great action pic Peter
That is the way I like Zoo pictures

Ciao Peter, great capture of lovely composition goose in fantastic action, wonderful natural colors, splendid sharpness and fine details, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Ciao Peter. Fantastic dynamic pic with impressive water in 3D effect. Brigh colours.


  • Great 
  • thijs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 82 W: 1 N: 104] (529)
  • [2012-04-13 16:12]

Hoi Peter

Leuke actie heb je hier vastgelegd. Bijzonder mooie vogel. Ik had er nog nooit van gehoord. Bedankt daarvoor. Hoewel ik de scherpte (op dit formaat?) Niet denderend vind is het een fijne plaat geworden! Had je nog een lager standpunt aan kunnen nemen? Bedankt!


Hello Peter,
great capture of this Goose with good sharpness and nice details like all these little waterdrops. Fine dynamism and beautifully natural colours.
Best wishes,

Hello Peter

Excellent timing to have shot the photo with
the water splash and droplets, excellent focus
sharpness details of the subject, TFS


Ciao Peter.
Complimenti che foto!!Grande nitidezza,molto belli gli schizzi d’acqua,stupendi i colori, bene la composizione complimenti.
Ti auguro un buon week ciao Marco.
Grazie della condivisione.

Hello Peter,
A masterpiece from close range.....with excellent sharpness. What a splendid bird....... Perfect details and natural colors. The composition, the light and exposure are perfect.
Thanks for sharing!

Bom dia Peter!
Fantastic moment and capture.Sharp and clear,wonderful colors and lighting.Excellent sharp details.
Thank You,
Have a good weekend!

very impressive picture with great detail and colour.

Hi Peter,

A splendid shot of duck bath. Bright natural colours, waxed body & the splash - deftly captured.

Hallo Peter
Everything in this image is just so pleasing to look at and appreciate. From your excellent photographic manner to the beautiful light the Branta sandvicensis is captured in. It is such a lovely specimen. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2012-04-16 2:05]

Hello peter,
excellent view of details. The splashing water and the fine pattern of the feather really make this composition a dramatic one.
Well seen and exciting habit of the goose.


Hello Peter,
Nice capture in action with an outstanding sharp details and clarity,lovely fresh colourization and very well balanced composition.
TFS and my regards,

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