Cotton pygmy goose
|Cotton pygmy goose|
|Male (behind), and female, race albipennis|
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). The goose-like bill is short and deep at the base. The head is rounded and the legs are short. The plumage is mostly white. The male in breeding plumage has a glossy greenish black crown and a prominent black collar. In flight the wings are green with a white band. The female is paler, and the white band on the wing is smaller or lacking. The nonbreeding male resembles the female except for his broader white wing band.
This species is widely distributed across Asia, its distribution extending to Australia and the Middle East. Northern populations make long-distance migrations south in the winter.
This species feeds on vegetable matter, but may also take insects and other small animals. It nests in natural hollows, such as tree trunks, and produces 6 to 12 ivory-colored eggs per clutch.
Females resting with a whiskered tern
- BirdLife International (2012). "Nettapus coromandelianus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Ali, Salim; Daniel, J. C. (1983). The book of Indian Birds (Twelfth Centenary ed.). New Delhi: Bombay Natural History Society/Oxford University Press.
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