Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

Scientific Classification

Common Name
Mandarin duck
Genus Species
Aix (water bird) galericulata (small capped head)

Fast Facts

The Mandarin duck is a beautifully colored bird with a greenish-black forehead and a purple crest near the back of the head. The sides of the head are creamy white with a chestnut patch below the eyes. The sides of the neck and the cheeks have longer brown feathers. The upper breast is maroon, and the lower breast and belly are white. The females are grayer and have a smaller crest and eye ring compared to the male.
Adult birds may reach 21.0 to 24.5 cm (8.3 to 9.7 in.) in length.
Adult males can weigh up to 0.63 kg (1.4 lbs.). The females are larger and may reach 1.08 kg (2.4 lbs.).
These birds may feed on seeds, acorns, small fruit, insects, snails, and small fish.
28 to 30 days
Clutch Size
Females lay 9 to 12 eggs and incubate the eggs 80% of the time.
Fledging Duration
6 to 8 weeks
Sexual Maturity
1 year
Life Span
6 to 7 years 
These birds can be found in Korea, Eastern Russia, China, Taiwan, and Japan.
These birds in habit temperate forests near wetlands including rivers, streams, bogs, marshes, swamps, and freshwater lakes.
The global population is estimated at around 65,000 individuals. The overall trend is decreasing, although some populations may be stable.
IUCN: Least Concern
CITES: Not listed
USFWS:  Not listed

Fun Facts

Mandarin ducks are highly social, flying in large flocks during winter.

Their pair bonds are very strong and they will return to the same mate if they survive.

Females initiate courtship using enticing behavior to attract a preferred male.

Ecology and Conservation

Females take the initiative in choosing a mate by orienting enticing behavior toward a preferred mate.

This species is not hunted for food because they taste bad, which has consequently helped them survive.


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Gooders, J., and T. Boyer. Ducks of North America and the Northern Hemisphere. Facts on File Publications, 1986.

Gotch, A.F. Birds - Their Latin Names Explained. UK. Blandford Books Ltd., 1981.

Johnsgard, P. Ducks, Geese, and Swans of the World. Lincoln. Univ. Of Neb. Press, 1978.

Scott, P. A Coloured Key of the Wildfowl of the World. Slimbridge, England. The Wildfowl Trust. 1988.

Todd, F.S. Natural History of Waterfowl. San Diego, Ca. Ibis Publishing Co., 1996.$narrative.html

BirdLife International 2018. Aix galericulata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T22680107A131911544. Downloaded on 19 November 2019.