The Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandvicensis) is a medium-sized bird. It is a water fowl. It is considered to be the world’s rarest goose.
The Hawaiian Goose is grey with black-striped markings, a black head, and chestnut-coloured cheeks. It has a dark-grey beak and dark-grey legs. It has partially webbed feet so that it can walk over rocky terrain. It does not waddle like other geese.
It measures about 66 centimetres (26 inches) in length.
The Hawaiian Goose is native to Hawaii. It prefers wetlands, prairies, dunes, shrublands, grasslands, and volcanic slopes.
It is diurnal, active during the day.
It is an herbivorous grazer, eating grass. It also eats leaves, grains, and flowers.
The Hawaiian Goose hardly ever flies, and hardly ever swims. It is terrestrial, sedentary, and semi-aquatic.
It lives in flocks of up to 30 individuals.
The male, called a gander, and the female, called a goose, mate for life. The female lays 1-5 eggs, which hatch after 29-32 days. The baby geese, called goslings, are precocial. Precocial means that the goslings are born with some feathers. Their feathers are brown and fluffy. They gain their flight feathers after 10-12 weeks.
It lives on average for 20-24 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM