Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck        Aix galericulata

Type of Animal:

Ponds, rivers, lakes, most forests and woodlands, urban areas, marshes, flooded fields, coastal lagoons, coastal estuaries, meadows, agricultural areas near woods, streams, river valleys

China, S.E. Russia, Siberia, Japan, Taiwan, & Korea. Feral populations in UK, Ireland, & other parts of Europe plus in N. Carolina & California.

Male has red bill, white crescent above eye & reddish face & very colorful during breeding season. Male goes into eclipse plumage w/ slight hint of blue on wingtip out of breeding season. Female much drabber & usually brownish-gray w/ pale tip on bill.

Seeds, acorns, grains, aquatic plants, insects, snails, fish, worms, mollusks, frogs, small snakes, grasses, veggies, fruit, stems, roots, nuts, crabs, refuse

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos & aviculture

Usually seen in flocks of 6 to 60 birds

Additional Info:


Male-1.5-2 lbs
Female-1-1.5 lbs

30 days

1 ft

Body Length:
1.3-1.5 ft

Life Span: 
3 years in wild, up to 20 years in captivity

Tail Length:
3.96-4.08 in

Main predators are felids, canids, bears, mink, otters, polecats, raptors, corvids, snakes, alligators, & large predatory fish. Herons prey on ducklings.

Possibly declining in native habitat due to habitat loss, bird trade, & hunting for feathers.

Sexually mature at a year old.

They often nest in tree holes, which can be as high as 30 ft off ground.

Kept worldwide as an ornamental bird.

There’s concern of them competing w/ North American wood ducks in areas where feral.

Females usually lay 6-12 eggs.

Like all ducks, feet thin/flat helping paddle through water.

Fun Fact(s):
Ducklings crawl out of nest at only a few hours old, free falling to ground, where parents wait.

These was a male known as Mandarin Patinkin who lived in Central Park from late 2018-2019. He was very popular w/ birders.

They’re not hunted for meat since their meat is not known to taste good.

These ducks can be flighty but they’re also very friendly.

They’re featured in Oriental art as symbol of marital fidelity even though they don’t mate for life & extra-pair copulation is not uncommon during breeding season.

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