Animal of the Month – The Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

The Mandarin is a bright and colorful wood duck from Asia, primarily China and Japan, but they are also found in Siberia and North and South Korea. They are Asia’s counterpart to our North American Wood Duck. Easy to raise in captivity, the Mandarin is a duck that is becoming more and more in demand by collectors.

The male Mandarin Duck is easy to identify, as his plumage is a bright orange, purple, blue, with patches of black, green, and white. The female Mandarin is actually a bit larger than the male and is brown, gray, and white. She looks very similar to the North American Wood Duck female. Males will “plump” themselves up during mating season in order to become more attractive to the females.

Mandarins nest in hollow trees and will use nest boxes if they are provided. They lay about 10 eggs on average. Their natural habitat is found in marshes in or near wooded areas. Once their babies hatch, they drop out of the nests and begin swimming.

Mandarin Ducks are omnivores and they love mealworms and small fish. They also love seeds, greens, and grains, making it pretty easy to keep them in an aviary. As long as they have food, clean water, and suitable nesting, they will be happy.

We did not get a good hatch last year due to an unexpected late freeze which affected the eggs. The 2021 season looks promising right now, but be sure to keep your eye on our sale pages in the days ahead.

Published by Jeff and Rita

Rita is a wife, mother, homesteader, library branch manager, and freelance writer. She enjoys spending time in the garden and later preserving the harvest. Gardening, knitting, tending to chickens and other critters, and taking long summer walks are among her favorite activities. Jeff has had a long time love of waterfowl and gamebirds. He spends his time working part-time as a courier when he is not enjoying his collection of wild ducks and pheasants from around the world.

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