Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nene Geese in Maui

One of Danielle's birding goals has been to see a Nene (Hawaiian Goose). It is the state bird of Hawaii and is found only on Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii. It is non-migratory and has reduced webbing on its feet, adapting it better to walk on the rough lava flows. We failed to see any on our previous trip to Hawaii so on our trip to Maui this year, we were hoping to see one on the slopes of Haleakala Crater.

We drove to one of the trail heads where Nene have commonly be spotted. We waited there for an hour or so with no luck. As we were packing to leave, we heard the distinctive honking of geese and spotted a formation of them coming in for a landing right in the parking lot. We got to spend a half hour watching them amble around the fields next to the trail head picking at seeds on the dried stalks before they all flew away back down the mountain.

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