Scientific Name: Aix galericulata
These ducks are very beautiful ones. The males are more colorful than the females, however. The males have a forehead that is green and it turns a purplish color as you go farther down along the head. The sides of its head are white and the eyes are a buff, or chestnut color. The Mandarin's chest is white and its back is usually a maroon or dark plum color. On its wings, there are two white strips in front and there are bright orange feathers on its inner wings. The female is more muted and is a grayish-brown color and it has a white-eye ring, a lighter belly and a small crest. This is where it is hard to tell the female Mandarin apart from the North America Wood Duck. There is also a mutation of the Mandarin that is becoming fairly popular and that is the White Mandarin. It isn't an albino, but it is sensitive to light and requires much shade.
The Mandarin Ducks eat a variety of foods. They eat aquatic plants, seeds, acorns, grains, insects and small fish. A sufficient environment for these animals includes a pond and trees. These ducks have sharp claws and are known for climbing into trees. They are quick and good fliers, so if you want to keep them out in the open, you must clip their wings, or you could have them pinioned.
The breeding season for the Mandarins is in April. They lay about eight to twelve eggs and they need to be incubated for about a month, or 28 to 30 days. They require a nesting box to lay the eggs in. They typically roost in high trees, so the box needs to be off the ground. If you are building a box, it should typically be about 11 inches in diameter and should have an entrance hole at the top of the box of about four inches and be around two feet in depth. The box needs to be lined with something soft, breeders suggest grass or down. The baby ducks grow within eight weeks and can use their claws to climb in and out of the box. The mother will raise the babies all on her own, so you can leave that part to her.
They love wooded ponds, marshes and rocky streams.
The Mandarin Duck is known for its beauty and easy manageability. It is perfect for beginners and it has a charming disposition. This duck looks like another common duck, the North America Wood Duck and only once you know the characteristics of both can one tell them apart.
The Mandarin Duck spends much of its time in trees. It is known as a perching duck and prefers more of a wooded atmosphere, but it also must have a pond along with that. For the private owner, a child's wading pool will do and a large tree with many branches. Because this duck is known for being hardy and easy to care for, it is a perfect choice for people who are just beginning to own or breed ducks. These ducks are also cheap to buy, another thing that makes the duck perfect for beginners. These ducks have an easygoing personality and therefore, they do well in a mix of ducks and other birds, like doves and pheasants. The Mandarin Ducks do well in almost any atmosphere with other birds, as long as each has enough space so that their breeding can be separate from the other animals.
This duck is from East Asia. It can be found in Korea, Japan, China and the eastern part of Siberia.If it is in Japan or another warmer part of the country, then it is not migratory, but in Siberia, they migrate towards the milder climate, like Japan. In the ancient oriental cultures they were known for respect, martial fidelity and kindness. The marriage fidelity part it was known for was because of the strong bonds between the ducks. The Mandarin Duck was present in much literature for that reason.