A Beautiful Bird “Mandarin Duck”

The mandarin duck (Aix galericulata) is a colorful species of duck that originated in Asia. People love their beautiful plumage, and they keep Mandarins around the globe because of these zoos and private collectors. This is a perching genus of duck found in the Eastern Palearctic. It is medium-sized, at 41–49 cm (16–19 in) long with a 65–75 cm (26–30 in) wingspan. Adult males are striking and unmistakable, with a red bill, an oversized white crescent above his eye, and a reddish face with “whiskers”. His breast is purple with double vertical white bars and his flanks are red and have two orange “sails” within the rear.  The males mimic the females during molting but their red bill is the point of distinction. The bill for the female is pinkish, and she is much less colorful than her mate. She is light beige with a thin white line on her flank and a gray under her belly and has a white eye-ring from which a line runs to her eyes. Mandarin duck is closely associated with the North American duck, the sole other members of the genus Aix. Aix is an Ancient Greek (Hellenic language) word which was utilized by Aristotle to consult with an unknown diving bird, and galericulata is that the Latin for a wig, derived from galerum, a cap, or bonnet.

The species as a whole usually measure between 8 and 10 inches in length. Many Mandarin Ducks weigh 1-3 pounds. Males and females both have crests, but on the male, the purple crest is more prominent. Mandarin ducks breed in eastern Siberia, Japan, and Taiwan, and Northern and southern Taiwan breed in winter. In Britain there’s a tiny low number of those birds in a very free-flying population, stemming from the discharge of captive-bred ducks. These ducks board the forests in China and Japan, preferring fast-flowing rocky streams and wooded ponds to wade, swim and enclose. The duck population lives alongside the rivers and streams in riparian ecosystems. Their marine habitats must be very similar to forest or woodland since they are nesting only in tree cavities. We also use marshes, lakes, flooded pastures and rivers during the breeding season. Most Mandarins live close to sea level but inhabit areas up to 5,000 ft above sea level. In winter, it additionally occurs in marshes, flooded fields, and open rivers; while it prefers freshwater; it should even be seen wintering in coastal lagoons and estuaries. They go after a range of plants, invertebrates, and tiny fish. Plants structure most of their diet, and that they eat a large form of seeds, grains, rice, and more. During the spring and summer, these ducks feed more heavily on invertebrates and little animals. A number of their favorite prey items include snails, insects, larvae, worms, frogs, and more. In April and May, once the female finds a suitable cavity, she lays about 9 to 12 white oval eggs at regular intervals. Incubation is by the female only, which lasts 28 to 30 days. Around one year of age Mandarin ducks mature. Hunters are often a threat to the Mandarin duck, as they are often unable to identify the Mandarin in flight and often are shot by mistake as a result. Mandarin ducks are not hunted for food but are often poached because they are admired for their intense beauty.