Mandarin duck is a perching duck species native to the East Palearctic. Also known as yuan-yang by the Chinese, our duck is featured in Oriental art. Heck, it is even regarded as a symbol of conjugal fidelity and affection. Finally, this bird is so appreciated in this culture, that is even used for Chinese weddings. Therefore, our beautiful duck symbols wedded happiness.

Mandarin duck

Where can we find the Mandarin duck?

Mostly native to the Asian continent, our beauty is found in eastern Siberia, Japan, and China. Yet, when winter comes, it will migrate to the southern parts of these countries. However, small populations of these birds are found in Dublin and Britain. But, did you know a single duck was even spotted in New York City’s Central Park? Moreover, when it comes to the perfect habitat, this beauty occurs in shrubby forested edges of rivers and lakes.

Mandarin duck

How does the Mandarin duck look?

Well, for starters, outstanding! Adult males are striking, with a red bill, a large white crescent above its eyes, and a reddish face with “whiskers”. Breasts with double vertical white bars are purple, flanks are red, along with two orange “sails” in the rear. However, during molting male will resemble the female, except the red bill. On the other hand, the female’s bill is pinkish, and she is much less colorful.


Having an interesting type of diet, our duck is both omnivore and herbivore. Obviously, depending on the season, the diet changes. Thus, in the cold season, it will eat plants and grains such as rice. Yet, in the spring, insects, snails, fish, and aquatic plants are a perfect choice. Finally, during the hot months, our duck will hunt for worms, small fish, frogs, mollusks, and small snakes.


Since they are the symbol of happiness and weddings, these ducks form long-lasting bonds. Therefore, just like the flamingos and black swans, Mandarin ducks are monogamous. When the right time comes, the female is the one which chooses the nest, while the loving male will escort her. The nest is in a hole up to 30 feet off the ground in a tree. In April and May, the mother will lay between 9 and 12 eggs each day. After the incubation of about 30 days, ducklings are hatched and invited by their mother to come to the ground. They start flying after 40-45 days and leave.

Did you know the Mandarin duck can fly as far as 500 miles in one day?

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