Magnificent Male Mandarins

In August I posted a picture of a female Mandarin and mentioned that the males were moulting into their breeding plumage; their moult is now complete and as you can see from the photos the drakes, as male ducks are known, are truly stunning birds.

Originally from eastern Asia they have long been a popular species for waterfowl keepers and escaped birds have formed wild breeding populations in several countries, including Britain.

They are often known as a perching duck as they will happily land in trees. Indeed, the females normally nest in tree hollows and the ducklings jump to the ground soon after hatching.

In the Autumn acorns are an important source of food, they will swallow these whole.

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