Nettapus – Pygmy geese

The smallest of all wildfowl

Pygmy geese are a tiny group of ‘perching ducks’ that breed in the Old World tropics and are part of the genus Nettapus. They are the smallest of the wildfowl species.

Because ‘perching ducks’ constitute a paraphyletic group, they have to be ‘relocated’: the previously presumed link with the dabbling duck subfamily Anatinae has been called into doubt. They appear to be part of an old Gondwanan waterfowl radiation with ambiguous relationships.

Small bills, rounded heads, and short legs distinguish Pygmy geese. They build their nests in tree holes.