The beautiful mandarin duck was introduced from the Far East, where it can still be found in China, Japan, Korea and parts of Russia. It escaped, or was deliberately released, from captivity in the UK. They are actually quite shy birds, often hiding beneath overhanging willows and usually only forming small flocks.
How to identify
A beautiful, unmistakable duck: male mandarins have elaborate plumage with orange plumes on their cheeks, orange ‘sails’ on their back, and pale orange sides; the female is dull in comparison, with grey heads, brown backs and white eyestripe.
Introduced from China and now found on park lakes and other wetlands with overhanging trees, mainly in South East England, but also in North England, Wales and Scotland.
Did you know?
The mandarin duck nests in holes in trees, sometimes high up and a long way from the water. Shortly after the ducklings hatch, the female flies down and tries to coax the young to jump from the nest. Once they have left the tree and made their way back to water, the father will return to the family and help to protect the ducklings.