Home of the Mandarin

Holmfirth Riverside

This gives an idea of the area in which the Mandarin featured in my previous post was located – it was with a small flock of ‘municipal Mallards’, at the point where the end of the visible path meets the river in this picture.  It didn’t look much of a place to me, but bearing in mind its heritage, I guess this may be quite near to that of it’s natural habitat – rather than the open lakes we might normally see it on?


2 thoughts on “Home of the Mandarin

  1. You are probably right, they would like it there. This is what I found online about this duck which comes form Asia:
    In the wild, Mandarin Ducks breed in densely wooded areas near shallow lakes, marshes or ponds. They nest in cavities in trees close to water and during the spring, the females lay their eggs in the tree’s cavity after mating. A single clutch of nine to twelve eggs is laid in April or May. Although the male may defend the brooding female and his eggs during incubation, he himself does not incubate the eggs and leaves before they hatch. Shortly after the ducklings hatch, their mother flies to the ground and coaxes the ducklings to leap from the nest. After all of the ducklings are out of the tree, they will follow their mother to a nearby body of water. The Asian populations are migratory, overwintering in lowland eastern China and southern Japan.

    Apparently, now there are established populations of wild Mandarins both in England and Ireland. It sure is a lovely duck boy! The American Wood Duck resembles it.

    • Thank you for this.
      I believe I have seen some wonderful film footage of ducklings making the ‘leap of faiith’ you describe here. I get the impression they are so light and their downy feathers so soft they come to little harm.
      I have seen Wood Ducks in collections at parks. One duck that didn’t fair so well here is the Ruddy Duck – they are currently being eradicated as part of a Government programme. The Ruddy Duck is not natural to this side of ‘the pond’ – and there is great fear it will interbreed with the White-headed Duck found in Spain – which could cause signficant problems to that birds gene pool.

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