Fun African Pygmy Goose Facts For Kids

Martha Martins
Nov 07, 2022 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
One of the most basic African pygmy goose facts is that the African pygmy goose is a sub-Saharan perching duck.

The African pygmy goose is native to sub-Saharan Africa (the region south of the Sahara Desert) and Madagascar. They belong to the family anatidae.

Even though African pygmy geese are classified as geese, their stubby bills make them more similar to perching ducks than to geese. These birds are known for their plumage and are among the most attractive pygmy geese in the world in terms of appearance.

The bird resides in areas with an abundance of water such as slow moving rivers, floodplains, pools, shallow lakes, swamps, marshes, coastal lagoons, and inland deltas. These perching ducks mostly stay sedentary through their lives. However, occasionally, they do go out for a swim in the water of their habitat to look for food and to groom their feathers.

We're going to take you through all the most interesting and fun facts that you need to know about this waterfowl bird species. So, if you're interested in birds and are planning on keeping one as your pet, read on. For more amazing facts-based articles on Kidadl, do check out swan and southern cassowary.

African Pygmy Goose Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an African pygmy goose?

The African pygmy is a goose that's classified as a wildfowl or waterfowl.

What class of animal does an African pygmy goose belong to?

The African pygmy goose nettapus belongs to the class of animals known as birds.

How many African pygmy geese 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.

Where does an African pygmy goose live?

An African pygmy goose nettapus lives in sub-Saharan wetlands along with wetlands in Madagascar.

What is an African pygmy goose's habitat?

As mentioned before, the African pygmy goose nettapus thrives in wetlands such as coastal lagoons, inland deltas, swamps, and marshes. The species is known for nesting in cavities of trees.

However, some are known to nest in other environments as well, such as on thatched roofs, in termite mounds, and on the ground. They create their nests from vegetative parts such as leaves and grass, and occasionally add feather down.

The site of the nest is generally selected by a male pygmy goose nettapus auritus and thoroughly inspected by a female pygmy goose (Nettapus auritus). According to experts, no other waterfowl makes nests as elaborate as the pygmy goose (Nettapus auritus).

Who do African pygmy geese live with?

The African pygmy goose nettapus auritus lives 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 an African pygmy goose live?

The average lifespan of an African pygmy goose goes up to 15 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of this waterfowl varies based on its location. However, on average, the months of monsoon (May - August) provide the ideal conditions for them to breed.

It's still not clearly known how the males and females communicate prior to breeding. However, post-breeding, the female lays 6-12 eggs that have a creamy white appearance, which are incubated for at least three weeks. After the incubation period, the chicks are born, which typically have a black and white color combination with spots.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this waterfowl is Least Concern. Even though it is actively hunted in certain regions across Madagascar and sub-Saharan Africa, their numbers remain quite high.

African Pygmy Goose Fun Facts

What do African pygmy geese look like?

At birth, the chicks appear black and white with spots. However, they start looking more like adults once they reach their age of maturity (two years).

Compared to other pygmy geese species such as the Australian green pygmy goose and the Asian cotton pygmy goose, the African pygmy goose size is the smallest.

The males are known for their white face along with green ear patches and their backs have a metallic green color. However, the white face, metallic green color and green ear patches are absent in the females, who appear gray and have hints of green on the tops of their heads and dark patches on their eyes.

The African pygmy goose is the smallest African wildfowl.

How cute are they?

If you like ducks in general, you're bound to find this waterfowl a very cute species. The fact that these ducks are one of the most colorful ducks in the world is also bound to endear them to duck lovers.

How do they communicate?

For communicating with other ducks and geese over short distances, this species relies on short grunts that aren't very audible. The females of this species often use a loud snoring vocalization to greet other ducks and geese. During the spring season, this species often uses a variety of vocalizations and calls for defending their nests from potential predators.

How big is an African pygmy goose?

Now let's take a look at an African pygmy goose size comparison. Compared to Canada geese, which have a minimum length of 75 cm, the African pygmy geese species is more than two times smaller.

How fast can an African pygmy goose fly?

While African pygmy geese are known for being strong fliers, their average and top speeds in-flight are still unknown.

How much does an African pygmy goose weigh?

On average, an African pygmy goose weighs around 283 gram (0.62 pounds).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no gender-specific names for males and females of this perching duck species.

What would you call a baby African pygmy goose?

You would call a baby African pygmy goose a chick.

What do they eat?

The diet in the wild differs from African pygmy goose diet in captivity. In the wild, they are reliant on seeds of various flowers with seeds of water lilies being the staple.

Apart from water lilies' seeds, they also consume a wide variety of aquatic plants, small fish, and aquatic insects. However, in captivity, where aquatic insects, aquatic plants, and small fish may not be available, they can be fed small seeds and waterfowl pellets.

Are they aggressive?

In general, African pygmy geese aren't aggressive. However, during the season of spring, when potential predators may attack their nest, they may become aggressive to defend their territory. Very few instances of aggression have been reported from African pygmy geese in zoos.

Would they make a good pet?

African pygmy goose zoo behavior is known to be good, which makes them a great fit for domestic environments as well. However, if you want African pygmy goose captivity to be successful, you have to offer the bird certain things related to its natural habitat and diet.

For example, there should be a waterbody such as a swimming pool where the bird can swim. To keep an African pygmy goose pet, you also have to give the bird the right food, which includes small seeds and waterfowl pellets.

Did you know...

The African pygmy goose distribution across Madagascar and sub-Saharan Africa is healthy as it is primarily a nomadic bird.

What do the African pygmy goose, wood duck, and Mandarin duck have in common?

The wood duck, the Mandarin duck and the African pygmy goose are all classified as perching ducks. However, one thing that they have in common and at the same time different from other ducks is the fact that they all nest in trees, which is totally un-duck-like behavior.

What has caused African pygmy geese to abandon some habitats?

In natural habitats where fish species such as the Nile perch and tilapia have been introduced, the quality of aquatic plants has been significantly degraded.

As the vegetative parts of the aquatic plants are an important part of the diet of this species, they commonly abandon a degraded habitat and look for another habitat that has aquatic plants in abundance.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other bird including grouse, or golden pheasant.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our African pygmy goose coloring pages.

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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