Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck
The Mandarin Duck or just Mandarin, is a medium-sized, East Asian perching duck, closely related to the North American Wood Duck. It is 41-49 cm long with a 65-75 cm wingspan.In the wild, Mandarin Ducks breed in densely wooded areas near shallow lakes, marshes or ponds. They nest in cavities in trees close to water and during the spring, the females lay their eggs in the tree's cavity after mating. A single clutch of nine to twelve eggs is laid in April or May. Although the male may defend the brooding female and his eggs during incubation he himself does not incubate the eggs and leaves before they hatch. Shortly after the ducklings hatch, their mother flies to the ground and coaxes the ducklings to leap from the nest. After all of the ducklings are out of the tree they will follow their mother to a nearby body of water. The Asian populations are migratory overwintering in lowland eastern China and southern Japan.The species was once widespread in eastern Asia, but large-scale exports and the destruction of its forest habitat have reduced populations in eastern Russia and in China to below 1,000 pairs in each country; Japan, however, is thought to still hold some 5,000 pairs.Specimens frequently escape from collections, and in the 20th century a large feral population was established in Great Britain; more recently small numbers have bred in Ireland concentrated in the parks of Dublin. There are now about 7,000 in Britain, and other populations on the European continent, the largest in the region of Berlin.


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