Pygmy Geese

Goose Information

African Pygmy Goose (Nettapus auritus)


African Pygmy Goose, Nettapus auritus The pygmy geese are very small perching ducks that occur naturally in Old World tropics (Old World = Europe, Asia, Africa). They inhabit still freshwater lakes.

They are the smallest of all wildfowl.


There are three species in the genus



Pygmy geese have a rufous-colored chest, white abdomen and face, glossy-green upper plumage,and light-green sides of the neck. They have short bills, rounded heads and short legs.

Green Pygmy Geese, Nettapus pulchellus - male below


Cotton Pygmy-goose or Cotton TealBreeding / Nesting:

Pygmy Geese mostly nest in tree cavities.


Diet / Feeding:

Pygmy geese feed on seeds and other vegetation, particularly water lilies.

Ducks generally feed on larvae and pupae usually found under rocks, aquatic animals, plant material, seeds, small fish, snails and crabs.

Feeding Ducks ...

We all enjoy ducks and many of us offer them food to encourage them to come over and stay around - and it works! Who doesn't like an easy meal!

However, the foods that we traditionally feed them at local ponds are utterly unsuitable for them and are likely to cause health problems down the road. Also, there may be local laws against feeding this species of bird - so it's best to check on that rather than facing consequences at a later stage.

Please note that feeding ducks and geese makes them dependent on humans for food, which can result in starvation and possibly death when those feedings stop. If you decide to feed them, please limit the quantity to make sure that they maintain their natural ability to forage for food themselves - providing, of course, that natural food sources are available.


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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