When you hear the word ‘duck’, the stereotypical image that comes to mind is that of a white bird with a yellow beak and orange webbed feet. But the duck in our story is extraordinary. The Mandarin duck is the most beautiful duck in the world and one look at it will make you understand why. The plumage of the Mandarin duck consists of striking colors and it is extremely unique in shape.
Those who are living in East Asia or the UK will surely have come across these birds. Even though the Mandarin duck was brought over from China by the Mandarins in the 20th century, it is believed that some of the birds escaped and established a feral colony of their own in Britain and other places in the world, leading to a spread in their population.
According to photographs, their multicolored features include an orange face, red bill, whiskers, and a white crescent above its eyes. The purple-colored breast stands in stark contrast with the bronze-colored sides. The pair of orange sails sticking up from the top of its blue back look similar to a boat sail. However, these unique features can only be observed in the male Mandarin duck.
The female of the species is grey and rather dull colored with a white stripe running from her white spotted breast to her eyes. There is a possibility of encountering a Mandarin duck in North America, but the chances are very low. A Mandarin duck in Vancouver named Trevor even managed to become an internet sensation. Since these birds had no natural predators living in the west, people were worried that they would get invasive after their accidental introduction.
They live and breed in shrubby and dense areas like riverbanks. The Mandarin duck’s diet consists of seeds, plants, snails, insects, and small fish and this varies according to the seasons. Luckily Mandarin ducks are not on the list of endangered species. Nevertheless, they do face various threats from logging and habitat loss. Let us protect this beautiful species and ensure that they never face extinction.
Please SHARE this story with your friends and family.