Denver Zoo Hatches Three Nene – Wait a Second… Hawaiian Geese in Colorado?

The Denver Zoo is celebrating the hatching of three nene, or Hawaiian, geese.

Two hatched May 7 and the third hatched May 9. They are the state bird of Hawaii and are called “nene” because of the sound of their soft calls, which sound like “nay nay.” Though the three female goslings will eventually be on display, they are currently growing and developing under the watchful eye of bird keepers in the zoo’s Bird Propagation Center.

Two hatched May 7 and the third hatched May 9. These goslings are the first to hatch in several years at Denver Zoo. Though the three female goslings will eventually be on display, they are currently growing and developing under the watchful eye of bird keepers in the zoo’s Bird Propagation Center. The name “nēnē” comes from the sound of their soft calls, which sound like “nay nay.” The goose is the state bird of Hawaii and can now only be found on four of the Hawaiian Islands; Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, and Kauai. The nēnē goose is closely related to the Canada goose. On average, they stand about 16 inches tall and weigh between three to five pounds. Unlike other geese, their feet are only half-webbed, which allows them to more easily walk and run across the rocky, uneven terrain of lava beds.

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