Cotton pygmy goose

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Cotton pygmy goose
Cotton Pygmy-goose.jpg
Male (behind), and female, race albipennis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Nettapus
Species: N. coromandelianus
Binomial name
Nettapus coromandelianus
Gmelin, 1789
  • N. c. coromandelianus

(lesser cotton pygmy goose)

  • N. c. albipennis

(greater cotton pygmy goose)

Cotton pygmy goose or cotton teal, Manjeera Wildlife Sanctuary, Telangana, India; Photographer: Prasanna Kumar Mamidala
Male in flight

The cotton pygmy goose or cotton teal[2] (Nettapus coromandelianus) is a small perching duck which breeds in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, southeast Asia and south to Queensland.


Male in Thailand
Female in Thailand
Females resting with a whiskered tern near Hodal

Small individuals of this species are the smallest waterfowl on earth, at as little as 160 g (5.6 oz) and 26 cm (10 in). White predominates in this bird's plumage. Bill short, deep at base, and goose-like.

Male in breeding plumage is glossy blackish green crown, with white head, neck, and underparts; a prominent black collar and white wing-bar. Rounded head and short legs. In flight, the wings are green with a white band, making the male conspicuous even amongst the huge flying flocks of the lesser whistling duck, which share the habitat. Female paler, without either black collar and only a narrow or nonexistent strip of white wing-bar. In non-breeding plumage (eclipse) male resembles female except for his white wing-bar. Flocks on water bodies (jheels), etc.

The call is a peculiar clucking, uttered in flight


It is largely resident, apart from dispersion in the wet season, but Chinese birds make long-distance migrations to winter further south. It nests in tree holes, laying 8–15 eggs.

This is an abundant species in Asia, although the slightly larger Australian race appears to be declining in numbers.[citation needed]

Found on all still freshwater lakes (jheels), rain-filled ditches, inundated paddy fields, irrigation tanks, etc. Becomes very tame on village tanks wherever it is unmolested and has become inured to human proximity. Swift on the wing, and can dive creditably on occasion.[citation needed] Found in ponds and lakes in southern Pakistan . However numbers are declining and it is definitely endangered.


Its food is chiefly seeds and vegetable matter, especially water lilies; also insects, crustaceans, etc.[citation needed]

The nesting season is July to September (SW. monsoon).[where?] Its nest is a natural hollow in a tree-trunk standing in or near water, sometimes lined with grass, rubbish and feathers. It lays 6 to 12 eggs, which are ivory white.[citation needed]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Nettapus coromandelianus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Ali, Salim; Daniel, J. C. (1983). The book of Indian Birds (Twelfth Centenary ed.). New Delhi: Bombay Natural History Society/Oxford University Press. 
  • Madge, Steve; Burn, Hilary (1988). Waterfowl: An Identification Guide to the Ducks, Geese, and Swans of the World. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-395-46727-6. 
  • Birds of Goa (video)[full citation needed]

External links[edit]