National Geographic : 1965 Nov
Airborne skein of nene (pronounced nay nay) glides over Hawaii Island on wings that span four feet. Ornithologists believe that Branta sandvicensis may have evolved from wandering North American birds stranded on the island's volcanic slopes at least half a million years ago. The author: S. Dillon Ripley, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C., rears nene at his Connecticut home to help restock the Hawaiian flocks. Here Dr. Ripley inspects a wild bird he caught in a patch of shrub-covered lava 6,000 feet high on Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano. Remarkably tame, nene permit the author's party to approach within a dozen feet, close enough for eavesdropping on their low, con versational moan.