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Mandarin Ducks

Mandarin and Wood ducks are the only ducks that have silver-white on the leading edge of their flight feathers. The male Mandarin Duck has an overall “golden” appearance.  He sports a long blue, green and copper crest which droops down his neck.  A white area of feathers curve around his dark eyes, and tapers to a thin line at the tip of his crest.  The rest of his face has buffy-orange feathers which extend down into the orange-gold feathers which form a mane around his neck. These feathers are shorter under his chin and longer at the back of his neck.  He has mainly olive-brown feathers on his upperparts and tail.  You can see a shimmer of iridescent blue on his back and side feathers.   Unusual orange-gold central wings stick up about 2” from his back and form “sails” when he is sitting or swimming.  He breast is purple. Two white vertical bars are behind his breast  bordering  his barred buff-colored flanks.  His underparts are white with gold and black. He has a red bill with a pink or white tip, yellow feet and legs.  When he is not breeding, during June-September, there is less white on his face and less spotting below. During molting the male looks like the female, but still has a red bill. Mandarin Ducks have larger eyes than any other waterfowl in relation to their bodies.  This helps them to be able to navigate through the trees of their habitat.

The female Mandarin Duck is a lot like the female Wood Duck, but she is lighter and has more gray on her body.  She has with a white eye ring, with the tail of the ring tapering off towards her neck. Her breast and sides are buff and gray with white spots. Her under parts are white. She does not have “sail feathers” like the male.  She has a metallic blue speculum and several white stripes on her secondary wing feathers.  Her bill is brown with a pink or yellow base. It is square at the base rather than coming to a point like the female Wood Duck.  Her legs and feet are yellowish.

Mandarin Ducks are found in southeast Russia, China, Japan, and Korea.  They were introduced into Britain and exported to many other countries. The largest populations are in Japan and Britain.  Ducks found in North America are usually escapees from collections or feral ducks in small numbers. There is a small colony of Mandarin Ducks in northern California. Their habitat is marshes, streams, and pools in wooded areas.  They are partial migrators, migrating in early September.

Mandarin Ducks are sexually mature at one year. They fly in pairs to the spring nesting grounds, where they have an aggressive courtship and mate in the water. Their displays during courtship involve much shaking, drinking, bill dipping, whistling, loud barks, and preening. The male will strut, puff, huff, and fight with other males. He is in “full sail” with his orange-gold wings and his crest is raised.  The female will head pump and lay prone on the water in invitation.  The male makes dipping movements before mounting her and then swims away afterwards.  If the same pair is alive through two seasons, they usually pair up again.


Available as Male/Female pairs either Pinioned or Flying.

You can request that a wing be clipped by calling 1-800-456-3280.


2017 Delivery Dates

Catalog Number Description 2 Order (QTY)
MDKS Mandarin Duck 2 for $187.50 (2) Order (QTY)
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Mandarin Ducks