Willem’s Weekly Bird Photography blog (#8)

Week 8: African Pygmy Goose (Dwerggans)(Nettapus auritus)

Once again, this week we are staying north because I’ve just returned from another photography trip on the Chobe River with CNP. For next month’s bird we are looking at the very fast African Pygmy Goose (for those who tried to photograph them taking off or in flight will know what I am talking about).

 

Pygmy goose with chicks 2

Pygmy goose (female) with chicks

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens with Nikon 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO 640, f8, 1/2000, exposure = -0.67, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, 25 meters from bird

Chobe River, Nature Reserve, Botswana, March 2013

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Pygmy goose taking off 1

Pygmy goose (Male) take off

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens with Nikon 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO 1600, f9, 1/6400, exposure = -1.0, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, 32 meters from bird

Chobe River, Nature Reserve, Botswana, November 2011

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 Pygmy goose take off 2

Pygmy goose (Male) take off 2

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens with Nikon 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO 1600, f8, 1/5000, exposure = -0.67, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, 15 meters from bird

Chobe River, Nature Reserve, Botswana, March 2014

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Pygmy goose take off 1

Pygmy goose (Male) take off 1

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens, ISO 2500, f11, 1/2500, exposure = -1.0, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, 15 meters from bird

Chobe River, Nature Reserve, Botswana, March 2014

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Interesting facts:

It is the smallest of Africa’s wildfowl, and one of the smallest in the world. It has the average weight of about 260-285 grams. The African Pygmy Goose is known to be nomadic. It can be found across a wide area of sub-Saharan Africa. It prefers inland wetlands with vegetation such as water lilies. It sometimes occupies open swamps, farm dens, river pools, and estuaries (Wikipedia).

The species usually nests in solitary pairs but is commonly found in small family groups outside of the breeding season. The species nests in natural hollows or the disused holes of barbets and woodpeckers in trees, preferably those standing in or close to water. It may also nest in other cavities such as holes in cliffs or termites mounds, in the disused nests of Hamerkop, or in ground sites such as papyrus stands or grass clumps. Elevated nests are usually up to 10 m (occasionally 20 m) above the ground. The species will also nest in artificially erected nest boxes (http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=415). Females compete for nest sites, resorting to fighting one another if necessary. Egg-laying season is September to April.

Ducklings have very sharp claws and are able to climb vertical wooden surfaces. They jump from the nest when the female calls them from below the nest. Only the female looks after the young although the male is in the vicinity to drive off intruding males. By 65-70 days the young have fully developed flight feathers (http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/birds/anatidae/nettapus_auritus.htm)

The distribution map (http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/birds/anatidae/nettapus_auritus.htm):

Pygmy goose map

 

Until next week – keep an eye on the birds and keep on shooting.

 

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  1. #1 by michaelsingeltonhaworth on April 9, 2014 - 3:40 am

    Willem – excellent flying Pygmy Geese images – wingtips pinsharp – you have very quick reactions.

  2. #2 by whk139 on April 9, 2014 - 5:49 am

    Thanks, Mike and enjoy!

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