The Green Pygmy Goose (Nettapus pulchellus) is a small perching duck from northern Australia and Papua New Guinea. It is more closely related to ducks than to geese because it has the feet and body of a duck and the beak of a goose.
The Green Pygmy Goose has black and white scallop-lined feathers on its body. It has a brown crown, black eyes, white cheeks, and a pink and black beak. Its wings are deep iridescent green. Males have a green neck, and females have a white neck.
It grows to 36 centimetres (14 inches) tall. It is one of the smallest species of ducks in the world.
It lives in tropical freshwater lakes, dams, and lagoons with floating vegetation.
It feeds on aquatic plants, seeds, buds, flowers, stems, and leaves. It particularly likes water lilies.
The Green Pygmy Goose is a strong swimmer. It can also dive up to half a metre to reach food at the bottom of the water. They do not fly often.
It is diurnal, which means that it is active during the day.
It is seen in pairs or flocks of several hundred individuals. It nests in tree hollows or in swampy vegetation. Females lay 8-12 eggs. Both parents look after their young, called chicks.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM