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Manu Minute: The migrant Canada goose

Though the Canada goose may look out of place on our tropical shores, this migratory bird has a long history in our islands.

Canada geese are rare winter migrants to Hawaiʻi, but they hold a special place in local bird lore as the ancestors of nēnē.

Fossil evidence indicates that roughly 500 million years ago, a flock of Canada geese arrived on the island of Hawaiʻi and decided not to leave.

Eventually, these transplants evolved into three different species of native geese, including the much smaller nēnē, the larger nēnē-nui, and a flightless goose four times larger than the nēnē, creatively named the Giant Hawaiʻi goose.

Of these species, only the nēnē survives.

AMTJ_Manu Minute, Canada goose Spectrogram video.mp4

Audio credit: Barry Edmonston, Xeno Canto (XC795083)

Patrick Hart is the host of HPR's Manu Minute. He runs the Listening Observatory for Hawaiian Ecosystems (LOHE) Lab at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.
Ann Tanimoto-Johnson is the Lab Manager & Research Technician in the Hart Lab/Listening Observatory for Hawaiian Ecosystems (LOHE) Bioacoustics Lab. She researches the ecology, bioacoustics, and conservation of our native Hawaiian forests, birds, and bats.
Savannah Harriman-Pote is the energy and climate change reporter.
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