These great looking geese, known as Nene, are thought to have descended from Canada geese blown off course; once they were common on many of the Hawaiian Islands, but by 1952 there were only 30 left.
Bones found on Oahu show they once thrived there. A few birds — blown off course again, or looking for more territory? — moved to Oahu a few months ago, and have raised young. Scientists are watching to see how it works out.
With short name featuring only two different letters, “Nene” is a popular crossword answer, and clue. Some ornithologists half-joke that the familiarity among crossword enthusiasts was a huge aid in getting aid for the wild populations of the bird, and in getting the Endangered Species Act passed into law.