Mandarin Duck Facts
- The Mandarin Duck ranks as an extraordinarily beautiful, not to mention colorful, variety of duck. It also bears a close relationship to the wood duck of North America.
- This unique animal now lists as Threatened with the IUCN in its endemic range. The primary reason for this remains habitat loss, due to the destruction of native forests.
- However, and in this instance, for once, thankfully, mankind introduced it to many other portions of the world.
- The Mandarin Duck also constitutes a species of perching duck. Individuals spend the majority of their time during the day perching (hence the term) in trees or on the ground.
- Though not hunted for food, its beauty, however, nevertheless serves as a curse since collectors often hunt the magnificent avian.
Mandarin Duck Physical Description
Experts consider the Mandarin Duck a medium-sized duck, proving that beauty comes in all sizes. It attains an average length of nearly 19 in (49 cm) and its wingspan averages roughly 30 in (75 cm).
Sexual dimorphism appears in this species via coloring. The females typically present brown on the back and wings, and white beneath.
By contrast, however, the males seem brilliantly colored. These combine variations of red, blue, white, orange, and purple, and even the beak shines a bright red.
However, the male does resemble the female’s coloring while it molts. Both genders display a crest though that of the male stays far more pronounced.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Anseriformes
- Family: Anatidae
- Genus: Aix
- Species: A. galericulata
Mandarin Duck Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Most notably, the Mandarin Duck evolved as endemic to portions of East Asia, including widely scattered parts of China, Russia, and Japan.
Now, however, it may be found in small populations in countries such as England, Ireland, Germany, and the United States.
It generally prefers to inhabit densely wooded regions near ponds, marshes, or shallow lakes. The creature also most commonly inhabits lower altitudes, but may occasionally be found at altitudes of as much as 4,900 ft (1,500 m).
This animal typically feeds feed at dawn and dusk, with its principal diet consisting of seeds, insects, snails, nuts, worms, and small fish.
Finally, females make nests near water, laying 9-12 eggs. The male will protect the nest and eggs but does not assist in their incubation.