Male - The male Mandarin has a red beak, large white eye-stripe, reddish face and whiskers. A purple breast with two vertical white bars, ruddy flanks, two orange sails at the back, and yellow legs and feet.
Female - The female is grey/brown with a thin white eye-stripe which circles the eye, grey beak, and dark yellow legs.
Eclipse - The male in eclipse plumage is similar to the female but has a reddish bill and visible blue wing feathers.
Size: - Typical Adult is 41-49cm (16-19in).
Food: - Plants, seeds, nuts, snails, insects, fish, and feeds in rice paddies in the east.
Habitat/Range: - Densely wooded areas near shallow lakes, marshes or ponds. Found in the Far East including south-eastern Russia, north-eastern China, Japan, and Taiwan. Winters further south in south-eastern China. Due to frequent escaped Mandarins from collections there is now a large feral population established in the UK. There are also isolated feral populations in Europe and the USA.
Breeding Season: - April and May in UK.
Eggs: - 9 to 12 (creamy white colour) incubated by female only.
Notes: - The Mandarin duck is a medium-sized perching duck and is probably one of the most striking and decorative ducks along with its close relative, the American Wood Duck. The name 'Mandarin' was given to this duck because of its brilliantly decorative plumage which resembled the colourful Chinese Mandarin dress. They nest in tree cavities and although the male leaves the female to incubate the eggs he returns to help look after the ducklings.
Conservation status (IUCN 3.1):
Classification: - Family: Anatidae,