mandarinduck

Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata

Identification

The Mandarin Duck measures 41-49cm and is smaller than the Mallard. The Mandarin Duck is a plump duck with a thick neck, a large head and a smaLL bill. For most the Mandarin Duck male is stricking in apearence with a green and purple crest, a chestnut orange ruff, a broard pale strirpe from the eye to the nap, white eye rings, purple breast and orange and brown flanks and dark back. The uniquely shaped innerwing feathers form sails on the back. The bill is red.The female is gey brown with spotted flanks, a speckle like mark around and behind the eye and a tiny grey bill. In flight, shows dark wing with a white trailing edge and pale belly. The Mandarin Duck moults between may and August and is flightless for about a month during the moult. the Male in eclipse plumage resembles the female but with less obvious face marks, a redder bill and glossier plumage.

Habits

The Mandarin Duck swims with its body high in the water, seldom up- ending. The Mandarin Duck frequently perches on fallen tree trunks and on tree branches overhaging the water. Takes off easily from land or water and flies rapidly, even among trees.

Voice

Mandarin Ducks are usually rather silent. The displaying males have a variety of calls including a soft whistle. The female has a soft croak, often in flight.