The Hawaiian duck is a wonderful chook native to the state of Hawaii. These geese are distinctive in that they’re the one species of duck that may be discovered within the wild on the entire Hawaiian Islands. Hawaiian geese are additionally recognized by the identify Koloa.

The Hawaiian duck is a member of the Anatidae household, which incorporates all geese, geese, and swans. These birds are carefully associated to the mallard duck and share many similarities.

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Fast Information about Hawaiian Duck

Breed Title: Hawaiian Duck
Different identify(s): Koloa, Koloa maoli
Place of Origin: Hawaii
Habitat: Wetlands, mountain streams, lakes, rivers
Drake (Male) Dimension: 19–19.5 inches, 21 ounces
Duck (Feminine) Dimension: 15.5–17 inches, 16 ounces
Shade: Brown, blue, inexperienced
Lifespan: 13–18 years
Conservation standing: Endangered
Hawaiian Duck on the dirt ground
Picture Credit score: RoxyAnne, Shutterstock

Hawaiian Duck Origins

The Hawaiian duck was as soon as considered a subspecies of the mallard, which is native to Asia and North America, however was launched throughout the globe.

New proof discovered that the species arose from mallard and Laysan duck breeding, and it’s now classed as a separate species.

It’s believed that early Polynesians introduced these geese to the Hawaiian Islands, the place they ultimately established populations on all the key islands.

The Hawaiian duck is the one species of duck that’s native to Hawaii.

Hawaiian Duck Traits

This species is called a secretive chook and is cautious of different animals and people. They’re usually present in pairs or teams in tall grasses close to water sources.

They quack identical to a mallard however a lot much less often and extra quietly.

They’re opportunistic omnivores feeding on:


  • vegetation

  • bugs

  • aquatic invertebrates

  • algae

  • mollusks

They differ from mallards as they aren’t migratory and keep in Hawaii all yr lengthy. These geese are additionally recognized to perch in timber, which is one thing that mallards don’t usually do.

Makes use of

These geese had been as soon as hunted for his or her meat and feathers, however they’re now protected by state and federal legislation.

Hawaiian geese aren’t stored as pets nor for farming functions, however they play an vital position within the ecosystem of the islands.

These geese assist to maintain mosquito populations in test and disperse the seeds of native vegetation. As well as, the duck’s paddling motion helps to aerate ponds and streams, which is essential for the well being of fish and different aquatic creatures.

The species can act as an indicator species, that means that they might help biologists monitor the well being of an ecosystem.

hawaiian duck spreads its wings
Picture Credit score: Tony Baggett, Shutterstock

Look & Varieties

The Hawaiian duck is a wild species and doesn’t have any varieties. Each the female and male look very related and are brown in colour. They give the impression of being very similar to a feminine mallard.

In contrast to mallards, there isn’t a distinct sexual dimorphism in feathering, which is unusual for geese. The male is barely a bit larger than the feminine however shares the identical coloration.

Males are additionally identifiable by their olive-green payments, that are distinct from the uninteresting orange and brown of the females.

The speculum feathers (a patch on the secondary feathers) have prospers of inexperienced and blue, and the ft and legs are orange.

The seasonal plumage of mallards and rampant hybridization make differentiating pure Hawaiian geese from widespread mallards troublesome.

Inhabitants, Distribution & Habitat

Hawaiian geese are endemic to Hawaii and had been as soon as discovered on all islands besides Lānaʻi and Kaho‘olawe. After disappearing from most islands, a pure inhabitants was discovered on Kaua’i.

They had been then established on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, and Maui from captively bred birds. Sadly, they went on to breed with feral mallards, which diluted the inhabitants.

So, though the inhabitants is fairly widespread, “pure” populations are nonetheless solely discovered on Kaua’i.

hawaiian duck in the water
Picture Credit score: BBA Images, Shutterstock

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Are Hawaiian Duck Good for Small-Scale Farming?

No, Hawaiian geese are an endangered species and aren’t appropriate for farming. Their inhabitants is dwindling to only over 2,000 recognized birds.

They’re protected by legislation, so it’s unlawful to hunt, seize, or hurt them in any means.

The lack of pure habitat and hybridization with feral mallards are the most important threats to this species. They’re additionally vulnerable to predation from launched species resembling cats, pigs, mongooses, and canine.

As an endangered species, Hawaiian geese shouldn’t be stored as pets or on small farms. In case you are fortunate sufficient to see one, it’s best to admire it from a distance and depart it’s.


Featured Picture Credit score: Phillip B. Espinasse, Shutterstock



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