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Mandarin Duck - Richmond Park - London, England - Saturday 9th February 2008.

As seen on the BBC One show ~ "The One Show"...on April 16th 2009....It may not have won the competition but Christine Blakely thinks it's beautiful...that's good enough for

The Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata), or just Mandarin, is a medium-sized perching duck, closely related to the North American Wood Duck. It is 41-49 cm long with a 65-75 cm wingspan.

The adult male is a striking and unmistakable bird. It has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and "whiskers". The breast is purple with two vertical white bars, and the flanks ruddy, with two orange "sails" at the back. The female is similar to female Wood Duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye, but is paler below, has a small white flank stripe, and a pale tip to its bill.

Mandarin Ducks, which are referred to by the Chinese as Yuan-yang (simplified Chinese: 鸳鸯; traditional Chinese: 鴛鴦; pinyin: yuān yāng), are frequently featured in Oriental art and are regarded as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity.

A Chinese proverb for loving couples uses the Mandarin Duck as a metaphor: "Two mandarin ducks playing in water" (simplified Chinese: 鸳鸯戏水; traditional Chinese: 鴛鴦戲水; pinyin: yuān yāng xì shǔi). The Mandarin Duck symbol is also used in Chinese weddings, because in traditional Chinese lore they symbolize wedded bliss and fidelity.

The species was once widespread in eastern Asia, but large-scale exports and the destruction of its forest habitat has reduced populations in eastern Russia and in China to well below 1,000 pairs, although Japan may have around 5,000 pairs.[citation needed]

Specimens frequently escape from collections, and in the 20th century a feral population numbering about 1,000 pairs was established in Great Britain. Although this is of great conservational significance, the birds are not protected in the UK since the species is not native there.

In the wild, Mandarin Ducks breed in densely wooded areas near shallow lakes, marshes or ponds. They nest in cavities in trees close to water. Shortly after the ducklings hatch, their mother flies to the ground and coaxes the ducklings to leap from the nest. The Asian populations are migratory, overwintering in lowland eastern China and southern Japan.

Mandarins feed by dabbling or walking on land. They mainly eat plants and seeds, especially beechmast. They feed mainly near dawn or dusk, perching in trees or on the ground during the day.

Mandarins may form small flocks in winter, but rarely associate with other ducks.

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View 20 more comments

  1. rskoon (Richard) 59 months ago | reply

    This is such a beautiful shot of a mandarin!! I saw it first on the Digital Photography School site.

  2. summerdreams05 59 months ago | reply

    wow, this is a great capture...

  3. El Garcia 59 months ago | reply

    Amazing, really great .

  4. schmincy 58 months ago | reply

    I just stumbled across this... beautiful!!! It's just gorgeous...

  5. tastyworld 58 months ago | reply

    I didn't think it was real! it's beautiful

  6. Tricia.Bunny 58 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Birds of Happiness, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  7. Tut99 (Roger) 58 months ago | reply

    I really like your animal photo!
    You are invited to post this photo to Spectacular Animals, invite only
    Please add the tag SpecAnimal to your photo
    Please include a link to the photo when applying for group membership.
    Seen in the group"Birds of Happiness" ( ?² )

  8. DLE132 55 months ago | reply

    I couldn't believe it when I just came across this photo. I took a photo of a duck just the same at Danbury Lakes, Essex not so long ago. It seemed so different to the others very colourful and lovely but I had no idea what it was, and now I do!!

    Thank you.

    Very nice picture by the way!!

  9. Digital-Gram 50 months ago | reply

    This is exquisite!

  10. cyrke 48 months ago | reply

    What a beautiful capture!

  11. CRMacedonio #CRMacedonio 48 months ago | reply

    Wonderful shot and post-production!

  12. Eliana Lúcio 44 months ago | reply

    My God!!!! Pefect!!!!

  13. Arkansas ShutterBug 44 months ago | reply

    Fabulous shot. This looks like a painting. Perfect!

  14. Clàudia Riwz 41 months ago | reply

    It's awesome! The animal is fantastic and the reflection too:)

  15. Na[V]eeN 40 months ago | reply

    Awesome Capture, Recently I got a chance to capture few clicks of Mandarin Duck.. here is one
    Mandarin Duck @ Phoenix Zoo

  16. 54StorminWillyGJ54 38 months ago | reply

    I love this Photo

  17. serafin_moreno_alvarez 31 months ago | reply


  18. Q|arts Photography 25 months ago | reply

    very cool, great capture :)

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