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The African pygmy goose (Nettapus azurites) can be found across a wide area of sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. It lives in habitats of swamps, marshes, inland deltas, shallow lakes, floodplains, slow moving rivers, and occasionally coastal lagoons.
The African pygmy goose is a type of “perching duck” due to its stubby bill. Although pygmy geese have beaks like those of geese, they are more related to the dabbling ducks and other species called ‘ducks’.
The African pygmy goose is one of the smallest of the perching ducks, and it has the average weight of about 10.1 oz for males and 9.2 oz for females.
Males have a white face with green ear patches and metallic green on their back, and a striking yellow beak; females are grayish with dark eye patches and greenish on top of their head. Both have golden brown feathers on the side.
They live in strong pair bonds that may last over several seasons and their breeding is triggered by rains.
African pygmy geese usually nest above water in natural tree hollows or cavities but have also been found nesting 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. Clutch size is 6-12 eggs and only the female sits in the nest and incubates the eggs for 3 to 4 weeks. Females then care for their young for about 7 weeks after hatching, until the young fledge.
Diet for African Pygmy Goose:
The African pygmy goose feeds mainly on the seeds of water lilies but also on other floating seeds and small insects as well as other small invertebrates.