Birda Logo
A photo of a Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus), male
Cotton Pygmy Goose, Male

Cotton Pygmy Goose

Nettapus coromandelianus

The Cotton Pygmy Goose, also known as the Cotton Teal (Nettapus coromandelianus), is a diminutive perching duck, one of the smallest waterfowl species in the world. Males are distinguished by their dark brown forehead and crown, with a blackish-green collar at the base of the neck, while females have a duller cap and a brown line through the eye.

Identification Tips

Adult males exhibit a striking white wing band in flight, contrasting with their dark wings. Females, on the other hand, have a more subdued white trailing edge on their secondaries. Both sexes have a red iris, with males sporting greenish legs during the breeding season, and a goose-like bill that is short and deep at the base.


These birds favor lakes and ponds with emergent vegetation, which provide ample foraging opportunities. They are also known to roost in trees near water bodies.


The Cotton Pygmy Goose has a broad range across Asia, extending to Australia. They are known to disperse widely, particularly in response to rainfall and water availability.


Typically seen in pairs or groups of pairs, these strong fliers are agile and swift, often flying low over water. They feed mainly at the water's surface, avoiding diving or up-ending.


Breeding season is aligned with the rains, with courtship displays largely undocumented. Nests are primarily built in natural tree hollows, with males assisting in locating suitable sites. Females are thought to be solely responsible for incubation.

Similar Species

The marked sexual dimorphism in non-breeding plumage can lead to confusion with other species, but the distinctive white wing band in males and the white trailing edge in females are key identification features.

Diet and Feeding

Their diet consists of small fishes, molluscs, crustaceans, insect larvae, and plant matter. They feed by skimming the surface, rather than diving.

Conservation status

The Cotton Pygmy Goose is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating a stable population.

Predators and parasites

Predators include the Rock Python, while parasites such as Plasmodium circumflexum and various cestodes have been recorded in these birds.

In culture

Historically hunted and sold in markets, the Cotton Pygmy Goose has also been noted for its tameness and ability to adapt to human presence, sometimes nesting within buildings. Their calls have been described as low quacky sounds, contributing to various local names and anecdotes.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Cotton Pygmy Geese on Birda


More Ducks, Geese, Swans

A photo of a Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) , male

Mandarin Duck

Aix galericulata
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Amylia S
Best app for any birding person!
I love this app!! I am so addicted to it when I saw it had 3 star review I was so sad! The app is awesome!! The best app for any birding person! ❤️
Stewart W
Fantastic to be involved
Fantastic to be involved, great for mental health and gets you responding with the Challenges that are to takd part in.
Gets me outdoors more
I'm still loving this app. I use it most days & gets me outdoors more. Enjoying watching others progress and photo's, it's improved my wellbeing.... I love this app! I can keep a record of sightings and see what others have seen too.
The best bird logging app
Birda is honestly the best bird logging app I have seen. I love all the features it has from being able to do a session and log all the birds you see in one sitting, to being able to connect with other birders from all over the globe!
Jake W
Great app
I use this app all the time as it’s quick and easy to log individual sightings or whole birding sessions. It’s an excellent way to meet new people and the forum is full of really friendly people. The challenges are a great way to get involved and learn more about birds. Cannot recommend it enough!
Patricia L
Very encouraging birding app
Easy to use, fun to see progress and encouraging to receive feedback from other users.
Ideal Birdwatch Companion
Simply adds to the enjoyment of my birdwatching and helps me record what I’ve seen.
Really useful
Downloaded to give it a try, everything worked perfectly, recorded my first bird watching walk. Very impressed. Have already recommended to friends!
Makes you want to spot birds more
I think this app is fun. It makes you want to spot birds more so I guess in a way it encourages you to get out and about instead of sitting in front of the TV.
Wonderful App
Birda is my go to app for keeping records of my bird sightings and sessions. It has fantastic information which is great at aiding identification. With all the updates that are coming in the new year, this app is something special.
As featured in
Connect with nature,
Find your flock
Download Birda - QR Code
© 2024 All rights reserved