Spread and habitat
Originally from Japan and China, it was introduced to Europe around 1830. Today it is found in freedom in various areas of Great Britain and Brittany. It is bred all over the world as an ornamental garden duck. He loves to live in ponds and marshy areas. Very agile in the water, while on the ground it is slow and moves with difficulty.
The male has a red beak; above the eye has a white stripe and above and below it there are rich copper-colored feathers that form a green tuft in the back. Green-blue breast with white lateral streaks; brown sides and wings with greenish terminal part and characteristic shape facing upwards. On the wings and back there are green-blue shades. Whitish belly. The legs are orange in color.
The female has a homogeneous brown speckled color with white, lighter in the lower parts. The belly is whitish. Eye and beak have a white circle. The legs and beak are brown-green.
The male when young has a color similar to the adult but with a tuft and feathers of the less marked wings.
Both sexes are about 45 cm in size.
Nutrition and behavior
Omnivorous species (seeds, sprouts, minnows, snails, small molluscs, berries). In captivity, especially in the breeding season, it needs a varied and complete diet.
Docile and easy to tame. It forms fixed couples who live very close. He loves gregarious life apart from the period of reproduction. It moves more intensely at sunrise and sunset, while during the day it loves to be in the water and devote itself to the care of plumage. The courtship of ritual parades is very beautiful. The eggs (9 to 12) are laid in nests built under cover (abandoned dens or holes, or, in captivity, in special nest boxes) and brooded only by the female for 24 days. The young are quite delicate in the first two weeks of life.
There are Mandarin Ducks mutated in white captivity.
Male Mandarin Duck - Aix galericulata (website photo)
Mandarin ducks - Aix galericulata (website photo)