Radio-controlled nene?

Two nenes stand in a puddle with some myna birds
Two nenes with identifying tags
A nene with a tracking device on its back

I saw these two nenes sharing a puddle with some myna birds alongside the runway at Upolu Airport. A closer view (second photo) shows the identifying tags on the birds’ legs. These are the same two birds that had a gosling in this location last year, which I posted about here.

The third photo reveals a box on the back of the male of this couple. This is a tracking device that was placed on the bird by the East Hawai’i Division of Forestry and Wildlife. They track the birds to help them understand their behaviors and movements. I thought it looked a bit big, but the bird didn’t seem bothered by it.

I had written here, ‘In due course, and probably after not too long a time, the box will fall off and the bird will be unencumbered again.’ but then I saw this pair again yesterday and the box was still there. On the plus side, both birds continued to look in great condition.

2 thoughts on “Radio-controlled nene?

  1. bushboy

    What good looking birds. Never heard of them before. They do look similar to the Wood Ducks here – which are really geese but called ducks probably as they are smaller than geese.

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