African Pygmy Goose (Nettapus auritus) of Africa is one of the smallest waterfowl species found in the world at 12 inches long. There are 3 pygmey geese world wide (2 in Australia are likely protected). African Pygmy Geese are technically a type of perching and dabbling duck, but “goose” in the name refers to the bill size and shape, which is specialized for lilies. This species has very large, black eyes and stubby yellow bills. Bills have a large hook on the end that is colored black. The plumage is nothing short of intricate and unique. Males have large sage ear patches on either side of the back of their heads that are outlined in black. Their cap is normally an iridescent green, and the rest of their head and part of their neck is white. The chest is a rusty color, the underbelly is white, and rump is black. While at rest, the wings are iridescent blue and green, mirroring the cap plumage. Females are brown and black with the exception of their white belly and white bar on their secondaries.
BEST South Africa duck hunting combo. Belongs right up there with Mexico and Argentina plus trophy import is possible.
Combo South Africa duck hunts includes great variety of ducks, geese and upland species, offers an authentic taste of Africa and a refreshingly challenging shotgun adventure. Ramsey Russell worked diligently for years making sure this was the very best South Africa Duck Hunt combo available.
African Pygmy Geese are residents to most areas, only leaving when they are in search of adequate food and water. Their range extends throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. This species frequents areas such as swamps, marshes, shallow lakes, flooded plains, and slow-moving rivers for both breeding and foraging grounds. This species forages for seeds of water lilies and other aquatic plants, aquatic insects, and small fish.
African Pygmy Goose breeding can occur year-round with the majority of the population breeding from mid-May to August. This species forms monogamous bonds that have been known to last over the course of multiple years. African Pygmy Geese breeding behavior is often triggered by heavy rains. Individuals typically nest in trees, just like Mandarin Ducks and Wood Ducks, but will also nest on the ground in termite mounds when appropriate trees are not available. They are considered a secretive species and will flush to areas with thick brush when they feel threatened.
AFRICAN PYGMY GOOSE. The hours-long drive from Africa hunting camp to the coastal plains of Zululand was delayed due to a protest, where locals had littered the roadway with large stones and debris, forcing us to take a spine-jarring backroads route. The scouting report claimed there were 2 pair of African pygmy geese using an old oxbow that was a mile-plus long, rife with water lotus, their favorite food (they use their stubby, specialized bills snipping shoots). The smallest species of waterfowl on earth that’s thought to be more “perching duck” than goose, it’d be like finding the proverbial needle in a hay stack. We walked the bank and glassed with no luck. The heat, humidity, and vegetative species reminded me of Mississippi. Worried the unavoidable traffic delay had put us there too late, we tried glassing from a higher vantage point across the slough. And there they were, scarcely more than 100 meters from where we’d been. Miraculously, before we could develop a plan to return to the other bank, both duck pairs abruptly flew directly towards. Game changer. Scrabbling down the hillside strewn with loose rocks, we arrived minutes later to close the deal. Not all waterfowl species can be hunted over decoys using conventional methods. The quest for the most diminutive waterfowl species was a briefly challenging, big game-like hunt. The preparations before we got here to even find the birds required an approach similar to big game hunting, too. A lot of time went in to it. Locals young and old turned out to the sound of the shots, gathered around to see and interact with the hunters from a foreign land, to see and touch those gems plucked from their back own back yards that we’d traveled halfway across the world to hunt. Follow @ramseyrussellgetducks for real-time updates from South Africa and worldwide.
AFRICAN PYGMY GEESE. There’s hardly a more offensive descriptor to anti-hunters than the word “trophy.” But. In an extremely arid, thorn-studded African environment, hunting diminutive African Pygmy geese that prefer lily pad habitat requires effort, patience, and no small amount of luck. Finding a pair of 1/3-pound waterfowl on a mile-long oxbow carpeted with water lotus is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Carefully glassing, then executing a plan. It’s more like big game hunting than duck hunting. Whether the birds themselves are trophies may be personally subjective, but the total experience is unquestionably rewarding. And it stands out more conspicuously among my hunting memories than ever will any shiny, fake-gold-plated trophy on a mantle. @ramseyrussellgetducks