HAWAII · ANIMALS
Hawaiis state bird - the Nene goose
Without any human interference originally only two kinds of mammals settled on the lava islands: tiny bats and monk seals.
Among the reptiles only turtles found their way across the ocean. There are neither snakes nor any kind of crocodiles on the archipelago of Hawaii - which is to the taste of tourists. But there are plenty of birds and sea birds. Most of them are also known on the American mainland. Yet only few of the 45 endemic kinds of birds have survived.
The Hawaiian nuthatches of which there are 20 different kinds count among the toughest birds living on the islands. The cutest of them is the red Iiwi with its long, sabre- shaped beak. The beak has developed to enable the birds to suck nectar from the narrow tubes of the flowers and blossoms.
The Nene goose is Hawaiis state bird. Unfortunately it has become so scarce that it had to be bred to set the grown geese free in their natural surroundings, the barren highland of Maui and Big Island.
O-o is a shy bird of the size of a pigeon which hatches its eggs in caves. In former times its feathers served as decoration for the chiefs capes. That is why this bird also belongs to the endangered species on the islands. There are some of them left on the island of Kaui.