Meet The Mandarin Duck With Beautiful And Colorful Coat, An Artistic Work Of Mother Nature

Meet The Mandarin Duck With Beautiful And Colorful Coat, An Artistic Work Of Mother Nature

You may have seen ducks with white or gray plumage, but have you ever imagined a duck with colorful feathers? If you have not seen a Mandarin Duck you would never know how gorgeous ducks could look in vibrant colors. Instead of white or gray plumage, they have attractive coats of many colors and shapes. They are undeniably an artistic work of mother nature. 

They are perching ducks that are native to the East Palearctic and are scientifically named Aix Galericulata. They are medium-sized and have a wingspan of 65-75 cm. Mandarin Ducks are very similar to North American wood ducks. 

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Meet the Adult Male and Female Mandarin Duck.

Meet The Mandarin Duck With Beautiful And Colorful Coat, An Artistic Work Of Mother Nature

Adult males of the Mandarin Ducks have red bills, a large white crescent above their eyes, and reddish faces and whiskers. They also have two vertical white bars on their purple breasts and two orange feathers at the back. 

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Females of Mandarin Ducks are similar to female wood ducks. They also have white-eye rings and stripes running back from their eyes. Their below parts are pale while they have small white flank stripes.

Both males and females ducks have crests, but the purple crests are especially noticed in males. 

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Meet The Mandarin Duck With Beautiful And Colorful Coat, An Artistic Work Of Mother Nature

Like other duck species, males go through molt (shed their feathers at a specific time of the year). After mating, they lost their colorful plumage and looked similar to females in eclipse plumage. However, a few features remain the same such as their bright yellow-orange or red beaks, lack of crests, and less-pronounced eye stripes. 

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The population of Mandarin Ducks varies according to region. 

Meet The Mandarin Duck With Beautiful And Colorful Coat, An Artistic Work Of Mother Nature

Mandarin Ducks were once widespread in East Asia, but the destruction of their forest habitat and large-scale exports have reduced populations in eastern Russia and China. 

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Compared to other ducks, Mandarin ducks are shy birds and they prefer to seek cover under trees such as overhanging willows and form smaller flocks. Well, they are becoming bolder as a result of being tamed and frequent interaction with humans.

Mandarin Ducks generally breed in densely wooded areas near shallow lakes, ponds, or marshes. Usually, they nest in cavities of the trees which are close to water or any spring. Females lay a clutch of nine to twelve eggs in April or May.

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Meet The Mandarin Duck With Beautiful And Colorful Coat, An Artistic Work Of Mother Nature

 Male Ducks also collaborate during incubation by defending females and their eggs. After ducklings hatch, their mother flies to the ground and persuades them to leap from the nest. When all the ducklings learn to come out of the nest, they follow their mother to a nearby water body. 

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Mandarins feed by walking on land or dabbling. Mainly they eat plants and seeds and also add snails, insects, and small fishes to their diet. Their diet varies according to season; in winter they mostly eat grains and acorns, and in the summer they eat dew worms, small fish, frogs, mollusks, and small snakes. While in the spring, they mostly eat insects, fish, snails, and aquatic plants. 

Meet The Mandarin Duck With Beautiful And Colorful Coat, An Artistic Work Of Mother Nature

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Their predators vary between different parts of the world. Raccoon dogs, Otters, Eurasian eagle owls, Mink, and Grass Snakes are all predators of the Mandarin Duck. Though the greatest threat to their population is habitat loss due to loggers. They are not hunted for food but their beautiful feathers lead them to be poached. 

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