Wild Weds. 19/52 Mandarin Duck Male

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Several months ago I went birding near Sacramento, CA. to look for two exotic ducks, one was the Wood Duck which I blogged about here.  The other was the Mandarin Duck.

The week before I visited the pond there were two pair at the pond, but the morning I went there was only a lone male.  He’s gorgeous don’t you think?

Mandarin Duck Male

He sought the shade of a palm tree, but soon came out from under again, thankfully!

Mandarin Duck Male

Here are several facts about the Mandarin Duck:

The Mandarin Duck Drake is widely considered the world’s most beautiful of the ducks. It’s a native of China and Japan.  They favor small wooded ponds and avoid large bodies of water.

There are limited populations in the United States; they’re usually escapees from captivity.  China exported thousands of Mandarins, but the trade was banned in 1975.

They are wonderful fliers, able to fly through trees, with remarkable agility.

They will often perch in trees, but the female will lay her eggs (9-12 eggs) in a hole or cavity of a tree, or if a nesting box if one is available.  Once the Female has gathered her brood she takes them straight to the water!  Mandarin Ducks only pair up for a season. New pairs form again in the Fall/Autumn. ~https://www.livingwithbirds.com/tweetapedia/21-facts-on-mandarin-duck

I was thrilled there was still one there for me to see and photograph.

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm @500mm| f/8| 1/200s| ISO 800| Tripod w/Wimberley Sidekick Gimbal Head

more to come…

 

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Mandarin Duck- Male(Drake)

Copyright © 2013 Deborah M Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2013 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

This duck is usually a resident of Asia not the USA. This one is the only one if its kind on this pond. Most likely it was a pet that was released or flew the coup. It’s known as the most beautiful Duck in the world and I agree! My friend Dali and I went to photograph him when we got wind that he was in town. Prior to this sighting I’ve only seen this duck in captivity. It’s very exciting to see one in the wild!

Nikon D300s| Nikkor 300mm f/4@ f/5.6| 1/250sec| ISO 1250| Manual Priority| Matrix Metering| Hand-held| On board camera flash fill; San Jose, CA; USA;