African Pygmy-Goose

Introduction: The African Pygmy goose (Nettapus auritus) prefer a well-vegetated freshwater wetlands habitat. These small birds can be seen floating amongst vegetation such as water-lilies. Open swamps (such as the Okavango Delta), marshes, mature pans and farm dams, river pools, estuaries and flood plains are also ideal habitats. They are usually observed in pairs and family groups amongst floating vegetation where their motionless habits make them difficult to detects. They occasionally perch on branches or logs over water and sometimes assemble on suitable water bodies in their hundreds. Males give off a soft, twittering whistle.

Distribution: Scattered populations are found in central and north central Namibia such as Etosha National Park, the Caprivi, Mudumu National Park, Chobe and Zambezi Rivers extending east to Victoria Falls.

Diet: Consists mainly of ripe seeds and flower parts of aquatic plants such as waterlilies. Other foods include pondweeds, fish fry, insects and moth larvae.

Description: The genus Nettapus are very small ducks with sturdy, sharp-tipped bills. Males have characteristic glossy green uppers with the corresponding region being duller in females. The legs and feet are grey. Auritus is the Latin word for eared.

Breeding: Females usually nest in tree cavities lining the bowl to with feathers to incubate her eggs, usually laid in clutches of 6 to 12. Incubation periods are around 24 days.

Size: 33cm.

Weight: 260g.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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