Monday, 9 November 2009

Mandarin (Aix galericulata)

Adult male and female Mandarin (Aix galericulata) at Kensington Garden, London - March 2010

OTHER NAMES: Mandarin Duck
Weight: 430-690g
Length: 41-49cm
Wingspan: 65-75cm
NO UK STATUS / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

Like the Ruddy Duck and Red Crested Pochard, Mandarins are a species which have established themselves from escapees in collections. Now, ironically they are potentially more successful here than in some of their native countries. The genders look incredibly different - the male is quite easily the most ornate duck (if not bird in general) to live in the British Isles compared to the grey female. Mainly living in the south of the country, by my reckoning Hyde park is possibly one of the best places to see them - the nearby Regeant's park also has them, but filtering which ones are or not part of the collection there adds to the hassle. Photography wise they are a pretty standard duck - often less shy than most birds in urban settings, more likely to be a bit further out on the water in rural ones.

Related Species:
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Aix
Subspecies: none - monotypic

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Scarce feral breeding species (2300 pairs) and scarce Wintering species (7000 birds)
 - Resident population seen at Kensington Gardens.

Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuidesBirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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