Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kauai 2013 day 6: Nenes

Yes, I know. I've gotten pretty terrible at updating. Part of the problem was that I took so many pictures on this particular day, it being my first trip out to the Kilauea lighthouse and all, the thought of winnowing my selections down to a reasonably-sized post felt very daunting. So, I finally decided the best chance I had at actually making some progress was to break it down into chunks. First chunk: Nenes.

The Nene, also known as the Hawaiian Goose, is the official state bird. Although they were once nearly extinct, thanks to hunting and introduced predators like mongoose and feral cats, the birds breed well in captivity and have been successfully reintroduced to several areas in the various islands. It's doing particularly well in Kauai, where there are no mongoose, and in addition to always spotting a few wandering around the lighthouse grounds I've also seen them in various areas along the North Shore. Given that they are geese, which I have a healthy respect for, the lighthouse, where they're more acclimated to humans and you can usually keep a chain-link fence between yourself and them, is always going to be the best bet for getting some good closeups:

This pair of Nenes working the foliage along the edge of the lighthouse point eventually caught my eye:

What I didn't notice right away, though, was that it wasn't just the two of them...

That's right: NENE BABIES!

Seriously, could they be any more adorable? And have I mentioned how happy I was about the chain link fence between me and them so I could get these great photos without worrying about imminent attacks from angry grownup geese?

Of course, I had to be sure and get at least one more shot of the whole family before they went along their way:

Finally, a pic of a Nene that had found a nice little niche to sleep in just a little ways from the gift shop:

Now, let's see if I can manage to get another post up before an additional three months go by...

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