Mandarin duck in exhibit

Mandarin Duck

Scientific Name
Aix galericulata
Geographic Range
East Asia, introduced to Western Europe
Plants (also insects, snails, small fish, and frogs)
Mandarin duck in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern

More Information

Male mandarin ducks are quite colorful in the fall, with a green and red copper head, purple breast, rust-colored ruff, and orange-gold wings. Females have brown plumage with white markings around the eyes and throat. They have thin, flat feet for paddling through water.

Courtship takes place in winter. After that, females lay and incubate up to a dozen eggs per clutch for around a month. Females rear the young alone, while males leave as a group to molt over the summer.

Did You Know?

  • Unlike most waterfowl, Mandarin ducks can sit on branches and other structures. They are one of the few perching duck species found in temperate zones.
  • They have been referred to in Chinese and Japanese philosophy as a symbol of loyalty.
  • Soon after hatching, ducklings will leap down from high nesting holes in response to their mother’s call.


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