Mandarin duck

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Mandarin Duck
A pair of ducks in Switzerland
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Aix
Binomial name
Aix galericulata
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The mandarin duck (Aix galericulata) breeds in eastern Siberia, China and Japan and winters in southern China and Japan. There is a small free-flying population in Britain stemming from the release captive bred ducks.

Description[change | change source]

In full plumage, the male has a pair of "sail" feathers that are raised vertically above the back, a crest of orange and cream feathers, and a broad white eye-stripe that is bounded above and below by darker feathers. The female is duller in color and has an overall grey appearance marked by a curving white stripe behind the eye and a series of white blotches on the underparts. In flight, both sexes display a bluish-green iridescent speculum.

Habitat[change | change source]

The mandarin lives in the forests of China and Japan. They prefer wooded ponds and fast flowing rocky streams to swim, wade, and feed in.