“Pic of the Week”, May 8, 2015. Nene on Kauai

03 Nene, Kauai

I’ve previously described an encounter with two rare Hawaiian geese on Maui a few years ago at this link.  This past fall when I visited Kauai with my brother and father, we found at least two dozen nene — most on the rocky and wet north shore of the island, but a number of free-loaders hanging out at the koi pond of the Marriott resort hotel (lots of fresh water, shelter, and free food).

While they remind me of Canada geese, they’re much smaller and the webbing between their feet is incomplete.  And they are fearless — they’ll walk in front of you whether you’re walking or driving, not sensing any danger.  It’s this complete fearlessness that nearly killed them …

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“Pic of the Week”, bonus photo for February: Hawaii’s Nene. The rarest bird I’ve ever photographed


Some of my favorite experiences while traveling are encounters with wild animals, especially when these are unexpected.   To stumble on extremely rare birds while traveling the roads of Hawaii was a treat!

My wife and I recently finished a fun week in Maui, one day of which was a trip to the summit of the dormant volcano, Haleakala, which occupies more than half the island’s land mass.   As we were driving up the mountain, we saw two pair of nene eating grass beside the road, enjoying the mist and drizzle on the mountain.  If you look carefully on an enlargement of the photo (below), you’ll see water beading on the nene’s back.

Hawaii’s great volcanoes (Volcanoes National Park on …

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