10 Things You May Not Know About the Endangered Nēnē

Get to know our state bird with these fun facts and a timeline that tracks the endangered goose’s road to recovery.




1. Considered one of the most endangered geese in the world


2. Hawaiian name is derived from the bird’s soft call


3. Mentioned in the Kumulipo (Hawaiian creation chant) as a guardian


4. Sole survivor of at least five endemic goose species


5. Relative of the Canadian goose


6. Eats grass, flowers and fruits


7. Prefers shrubland and dry forests


8. Major threats: rats, cats, mongooses and humans


9. Scientific name is Branta sandvicensis


10. 1 of 437 threatened and endangered species in Hawai‘i, the most of any U.S. state


SEE ALSO: Meet the Guardians of the Nēnē Who Are Helping to Save Hawai‘i’s Endangered Bird



Video: Jayna Omaye


Nene Timeline Honolulu Magazine Rev