Mandarin ducks are native to Asia and are particularly revered in China, where they are a symbol of loyalty. The male Mandarin duck is a standout, with perhaps the most ornate features of any duck species. It has a copper-colored crest on its head, a broad white stripe across the eyes, copper neck ruff and teal, black, white and orangey brown markings on its body. The female is grey-brown with a smaller crest, ruff and white eye stripe.
Range & Habitat
Mandarin ducks breed in eastern Siberia, Japan and China, and winter in Japan and southern China. They prefer forested areas near water and often use tree holes as nests.
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Formerly abundant, Mandarin duck populations in their native countries in the Far East have declined as a result of habitat destruction (mainly logging), and over-hunting. The global population is currently estimated at 65,000.
In the Wild: Water plants, grain such as rice, small fish, insects, snails and seeds.
At the Zoo: Waterfowl grain mix.
In Human Care: 12+ years
Fun Facts about the Mandarin Duck
- The Mandarin duck is used as a symbol for Chinese weddings because they are monogamous and stand for wedded happiness and fidelity.
- When migrating, Mandarin ducks fly as far as 500 miles in one day!
- Mandarin ducks are highly social, often flying in large flocks during winter.
Animalia.com website: Mandarin Duck, http://animalia.bio/mandarin-duck
IUCN Red List species: Mandarin Duck, https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22680107/131911544#habitat-ecology
Lincoln Park Zoo/ Animals: Mandarin Duck, https://www.lpzoo.org/animal/mandarin-duck/
Brevard Zoo: Mandarin Duck, https://brevardzoo.org/animals/austral-asia/mandarin-duck/