The Mandarin duck (Aix galericulata) belongs to the family Anatidae. The Mandarin duck is distributed in Russia, China, Korea and Japan. These ducks mostly winter in south China. They are rare visitors to Indian Subcontinent. They have been introduced and established in Great Britain, Germany and several countries in Europe and United States. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these duck species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".
The Mandarin duck is a small bird. Male birds are larger than the females and measure 40 to 50 cm in length and weigh 550 to 700 grams. The females weigh 400 to 600 grams. Their wingspan is 70 to 75 cm. The adult male has a red bill and reddish face. There is a large white crescent above the eye. The breast is purple with two vertical white bars. The flanks ruddy, with two orange sails at the back. The male Mandarin duck has a prominent crest.
The Mandarin ducks feed on seeds, nuts, acorns, grains, snails, insects, small fish, small reptiles and frogs. They inhabit, ponds, waterways, lakes, rivers and marshes surrounded by vegetation. They breed from April onwards. They nest in hollows of trees. A single clutch of nine to twelve eggs is laid in April or May. The male Mandarin duck defends the nest during incubation. The female duck takes care of the chicks.
|Indian birds - Mandarin duck - Aix galericulata|
Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aix_galericulata_(Male),_Richmond_Park,_UK_-_May_2013.jpg
Author: DAVID ILIFF | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Current topic in Birds of India: Mandarin duck - Aix galericulata.