Family Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)

Least Concern

Green Pygmy-goose (Nettapus pulchellus)


French: Anserelle élégante German: Australzwergente Spanish: Gansito australiano

Nettapus pulchellus


, 1842,

Port Essington, Northern Territory, Australia




S New Guinea, tropical N Australia; sightings in Timor-Leste, where may breed#R; also recorded (status uncertain) in Sulawesi, S Moluccas and Lesser Sundas W to Flores.

Descriptive notes

30–36 cm; male 300–430 g, female 245–340 g; wingspan 48–60 cm. Male has bottle-green neck and conspicuous white cheeks, wing green with dark primaries... read more


Musical trills and whistles often given in flight and on landing (“cut-ka-ka-du”), while alarm call... read more


Lowland tropical lagoons, lakes and billabongs of rather deep, permanent fresh waters with abundant... read more

Food and feeding

Essentially vegetarian; seeds, leaves, flowers, buds and stems of water lilies and other aquatic plants (e.g. Nymphaea spp., ... read more


Starts Nov and continues until Apr, at least in N Australia, i.e. mainly wet season. In single pairs and species is monogamous with... read more


Mainly sedentary, but subject to local dispersive movements favoured by extensive flooding during... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Rather common and locally abundant, but highly dependent on seeds and flowers of water lilies, and overall population might be <... read more

Recommended citation

Carboneras, C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Green Pygmy-goose (Nettapus pulchellus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 7 December 2019).