5th of September 2014 – Species Spotlight Hawaiian Goose

This week saw the arrival of a new species for us so what better than to blog about them

 

Hawaiian Goose

Branta sandvicensis

Hawaiian Geese (7)

 

 

Also known as the Nene, Hawaiian Geese are only found on the islands of Hawaii, where they are the state bird.  Listed as vulnerable, they are the worlds most endangered species of goose, with approximately 2500 birds in the wild today. At one point that number was down to 30, with hunting and the introduction of predatory species the main factor.  An extensive conservation programme has seen a recovery with captive bred birds released back into the wild.

Nenes are a mid sized goose which pends much of its time on land. Indeed, they have less webbing on the feet than most waterfowl and this enables them to move at speed on the ground.  Males are slightly larger than females.

As with most geese, they are grazers taking a wide range of diets including leaves, seeds, grasses and flowers

Nenes breed on land with the female choosing a nest site to her preference. Anywhere between 1 to 5 eggs are laid and incubation lasts for up to 32 days with the female incubating and male standing guard.  The goslings are mobile and can feed themselves but will stay under the close watch of the parents.

Hawaiian Geese (2)

 

Our new pair arrived on Sunday from a family in Bristol.They are both around 5 years of age and have laid in eggs in the past two years but have had no goslings as yet. As always they are serving a period of quarantine and will be on show soon, most likely on the stretch of river running in front of the aviary boulevard.

 

In other news

 

The Bartlett’s Bleeding Heart Dove have an egg and the Roul Roul Partridge have 3.

The Luzon Bleeding Heart are nest building but no eggs as yet

 

Wildlife wise a member of the public reported a Corn Bunting which would be a first for us. A Jay was seen for only the second time in memory

 

Thanks for reading

Sign Up for our newsletter