“A Mandarin Duck Mysteriously Appears!”

Mandarin duck (Aix galericulata) aka Rockstar of 2018. This species of duck created a frenzy in a small St Louis County park and Central Park, NYC.

His colorful plumage quickly earned him a keen following on social media, judging by the amount of Facebook posts that were shared shortly after his arrival.

Portrait of a Mandarin Duck

His head looks like a punk rocker’s multicolored mohawk. Beneath his beady black eyes, fringed orange feathers splay across his dark purple chest. His bill is colored a striking hot pink and sits under an emerald green forehead.

The Mandarin duck, native to East Asia, should not be in the middle of a park in suburban Saint Louis. And yet, against all odds, he is here. And he is dazzling in all of his avian glory.

Reflection of a Mandarin Duck

Many have speculated it has escaped from a “private owner” or a zoo. To date we do not know, he has no visible banding.

Despite the closeness of the relationship with the wood duck, no hybrids have ever been recorded. This is because the mandarin has a chromosome aberrance that makes it impossible for it to produce hybrids with other ducks.

Until the next adventure.

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2 Comments

  1. imagesbytdashfield – Midwestern almost all the way – Fine art photographer who loves to see and capture the amazing things in this world. Owner of Images by TDashfield photography. www.imagesbytdashfield.com
    imagesbytdashfield says:

    Hoping to see and photograph one of these one day!

    1. fotografiabymíguel – Midwest – I am of Trinidadian/Venezuelan roots. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an interest in nature & wildlife, my mother and grandparents were my biggest sources of inspiration and influence. Growing up in the Southern Caribbean, I would spend many hours catching insects, then letting them go, I would watch tropical birds fly into the trees in the yard and I tried to document them by sight. I have always been intrigued by natural history, and it is that love for nature that drew me to photography. One day, I would like my Photography to be used for Conservation, Education & Inspiration.
      fotosbymiguel says:

      They show up in the oddest of locations. But I’ve heard of healthy populations in CA and TX.

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