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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 03, 2021

Pygmy Goose: 19 Facts You Won’t Believe

Read the following pygmy goose facts.

Pygmy geese are a kind of tiny "perching duck" of the genus Nettapus that breed in the Old World tropics. They are the tiniest of the wildfowl. Because "perching ducks" constitute a paraphyletic group, they must be relocated. The previously believed link with the dabbling duck subfamily Anatinae has been called into doubt, and it appears that they constitute a lineage in ancient Gondwanan radiation of waterfowl, with which they have unknown relationships. The three recognized subspecies are African pygmy goose (Nettapus auritus), cotton pygmy goose (Nettapus coromandelianus), and green pygmy geese (Nettapus pulchellus) of the order Anseriformes. Most of Sub-Saharan Africa is home to African pygmy geese. It can live up to 15 years of life.

For more amazing facts-based articles, do check out our swan and southern cassowary.

Pygmy Goose Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a pygmy goose?

It is a duck-like bird belonging to the order Anseriformes and Anatidae family.

What class of animal does a pygmy goose belong to?

It belongs to the order Anseriformes and the class Aves.

How many pygmy gooses are there in the world?

The exact population of the African pygmy goose (nettapus) isn't known. However, their numbers are quite high, which has led them to be given the Least Concern conservation status as they do not need conservation measures.

Where does a pygmy goose live?

African pygmy geese may be found throughout most of Sub-Saharan Africa and the island country of Madagascar. They live in freshwater lakes, ponds, swamps, marshes, inland deltas, flood plains, slow-flowing rivers, and, on rare occasions, coastal lagoons. There is no information on pygmy goose migration.

What is a pygmy goose' habitat?

African pygmy goose (perching ducks) spend most of their time swimming and gliding across the surface of still water. They don't commonly come ashore, although they will perch on branches overhanging the water and generally sleep on partially submerged trees. During the day, these tiny ducks can be easily ignored as they sit quietly amid water lilies. They spend most of their time foraging in the early morning or late at night. They feed on the water lily seeds as well as the seeds and vegetative portions of other aquatic plants. They'll also snag small fish and water insects. African pygmy goose live in couples or small family groups. They are migratory in nature, migrating in response to seasonal rains, but they do not migrate. When molting or during the dry season, they may congregate in huge groups of up to 200 birds.

Who does pygmy goose live with?

The African pygmy goose nettapus auritus live in packs but is also known to share its nest with other duck species such as the wood duck and the Mandarin duck.

How long does a pygmy goose live?

They have a long life. The average life-span of an African pygmy goose goes up to 15 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season varies depending on the season and location. African pygmy geese are cavity nesters. They usually nest above water in natural tree hollows or cavities but have also been found laying eggs in cliff holes, termite hills, artificial nest boxes, and sometimes on the ground in clumps of grass or papyrus stands. Pairs choose their nesting sites together. The birds form pairs and construct a nest for eggs made of grasses and leaves, which are occasionally lined with down. Like the colorful Mandarin duck and the wood duck, they nest in trees, which is an uncharacteristic activity for ducks. As an alternative, they will utilize nest boxes. Between mid-May and August, the female produces six to 12 creamy-white eggs. The eggs are incubated for a little more than three weeks. Chicks have blackish down on their tops with white patches and white down on their bellies.

What is their conservation status?

 All three subspecies' conservation status is least concerned.

Pygmy Goose Fun Facts

What does the pygmy goose look like?

The chicks are born black and white with spots. When they reach the age of maturity, they begin to resemble adults' description. The African pygmy goose is the smallest in contrast to the Australian green pygmy and the Asian cotton pygmy. Females have dark patches on their eyes. Males have a green patch on the back of their head and a yellow bill, while females have a black-and-white head with a dark bill. Both sexes have white on the wing.

The neck is medium to long in length. The bill is medium in length, wide and somewhat flattened, with a rounded tip and a prominent nail that gives the tip a little hook. The shape of the beak, on the other hand, varies greatly, fitting birds with diets as diverse as grass, fish, and small plankton. Fine lamellae, small parallel plates at the ends of the mandibles that help in food handling and, in certain species, straining microscopic food creatures from water or mud, are commonly fringed on the bill.

They have white faces.

How cute are they?

If you enjoy ducks in general, you'll find this type of waterfowl to be quite adorable. The fact that these ducks are among the most colorful in the world is sure to appeal to duck enthusiasts.

How do they communicate?

African pygmy goose is cautious and secretive, and when startled, they retreat to dense vegetation. Its transmission is poorly understood. This species relies on brief, inaudible grunts to communicate with other ducks and geese across short distances. Females of this species frequently welcome other ducks and geese with a loud snoring vocalization. This species frequently employs a range of vocalizations and cries to defend its nests from prospective predators during the spring season.

How big is a pygmy goose?

The size of Anatidae members varies significantly, with the largest being 60 times heavier than the smallest. The African pygmy goose (Nettapus auritus) is approximately 11.8 in (30 cm) long. The green pygmy goose is one of the smallest species of duck, measuring 12-14 in (30.4-35.5 cm) in length. It has a wingspan of 19-23.5 in (48.2-59.6 cm).

How fast can a pygmy goose fly?

Although the African pygmy goose is known to be a powerful flier, the average and peak in-flight speeds remain unknown. They are swift on the wing, with the ability to dive admirably on occasion. Most varieties have white wing patches and black wing linings, while others have a bony bump at the wing bend.

How much does a pygmy goose weigh?

The African pygmy goose size is one of the smallest perching ducks, weighing around 10.1 oz (286.3 g) for males and 9.2 oz (260.8 g) for females. Cotton pygmy perching geese individuals are the world's tiniest waterfowl, weighing as low as 5.6 oz (158.7 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no sex-specific names for males and females of this perching duck species. They are simply called pygmy goose male and pygmy goose female

What would you call a baby pygmy goose?

You would call a baby perching waterfowl a chick.

What do they eat?

The diet of pygmy geese in the wild range differs from that of pygmy goose in captivity habitat. They survive in the wild range by eating the seeds of various flowers diet, the most common of which being water lily seeds. Aside from water lily seeds, they eat a broad range of aquatic plants, tiny fish, and aquatic insects. Tiny seeds and duck pellets can be fed to them in captivity habitat if aquatic insects, aquatic vegetation, and small fish are not available.

Are they dangerous?

Pygmy geese are not aggressive in general. However, during the spring season, when possible predators are likely to assault their nest, they may become violent in order to protect their territory. There have been very few reports of violence from the Africa pygmy goose in the zoo habitat. If a goose becomes hostile, stare it down, gently back away, and continue to observe the geese. As you back away, don't be hostile or aggressive; instead, maintain a neutral demeanor. Do not strike, kick, or swing at the goose. This will just upset it further and may even encourage its partner or other geese to attack.

Would they make a good pet?

Pygmy geese zoo behavior is well-known, making them a suitable fit for home habitat as well. However, for pygmy goose pet to be effective, some factors relevant to the bird's native environment and nutrition must be provided. For example, the bird should be able to swim in a body of water, such as a swimming pool. To maintain a pygmy goose as a pet, you must also provide the bird with an appropriate diet, which includes tiny seeds and waterfowl pellets.

Did you know...

African pygmy goose feed mostly on the seeds of water lilies and will settle in areas dependent on the abundance of water lilies in a certain aquatic environment. African pygmy goose is technically classified as "perching ducks."

Different types of goose?

A goose is any of numerous waterfowl species in the Anatidae family. The genera Anser and Branta are included in this category. Some additional birds, primarily related to shelducks, have the word "goose" in their names. Goose breeds are often classified into three weight categories: heavy, medium, and light. The greylag goose is the ancestor of the majority of domestic geese (Anser anser). The domestic breeds of the swan geese are the Chinese and African pygmy goose, which may be identified by their large bill knob. Some breeds, such as the obroshin goose and the steinbach fighting goose, are the result of crosses between these species. Furthermore, two geese species are kept as domestic animals in some areas, although they have not yet been totally tamed, and no separate varieties have been established.

Why is it called pygmy goose?

The popular name is derived from this species's stubby, goose-like beak, which is technically a perching duck. Pygmy is a term used to describe animals and plants that are significantly smaller than more common species. Johann Friedrich von Brandt, a German scientist, established the genus Nettapus in 1836. Nettapus is derived from the Greek words ntta (duck) and pous (foot). The African pygmy goose (Nettapus auritus) was supposed to have the feet, torso, and neck of a duck and the neck of a goose.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these grouse facts and golden pheasant facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable African pygmy goose coloring pages.

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