Mandarin Duck


Aix galericulata

The Mandarin lives in the forests of China and Japan. They prefer wooded ponds and fast flowing rocky streams to swim, wade, and feed in.

Interesting Information

  • Mandarin courtship display is very impressive and includes mock-drinking and shaking.

  • Nest are always in a hole in a tree and can be up to thirty feet from the ground.

  • When all the eggs are hatched (they hatch within a few hours of each other), the mother calls to the chicks from the ground. Each chick then crawls out of the hole and launches itself into a free fall. Amazingly, all the chicks land unhurt and are en route to the nearest feeding ground.

  • The Mandarin is held in high esteem by the Japanese and the Chinese. In these countries, they serve as a symbol of happiness and marital fidelity.


In full plumage, the male has a pair of "sail" feathers that are raised vertically above the back, a crest of orange and cream feathers, and a broad white eye-stripe that is bounded above and below by darker feathers. The female is duller in color and has an overall grey appearance marked by a curving white stripe behind the eye and a series of white blotches on the underparts. In flight, both sexes display a bluish-green iridescent speculum.



Preferred habitats include wooded swamps and freshwater marshes.


Forages while swimming.


Feeds on vegetation, insects, snails, tadpoles, and salamanders.



Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
     Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
    Subfamily: Anserinae
Genus: Aix
Species: Aix galericulata

Similar Species


Bird Sound

Call is a thin, high, rising "jeeeeee."

Eggs look like this

Photo taken from: ARCTOS Collaborative Collection Management Solution


Mandarin & Wood Duck 1

Wallflowers at the Dance

Mandarin & Wood Duck 2

The Chaperoned Date

Mandarin & Wood Duck 3

The First Kiss

Mandarin & Wood Duck 4

The Necking

Mandarin & Wood Duck 5

A Match Made in Heaven

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Ducks in a Row