Mandarin Duck Reflections
Wes and Dotty Weber
Photograph - Photography
The mandarin duck, Aix galericulata is a perching duck species once only found in Eastern Asia. It is medium sized and smaller than the more common mallard duck. They are very similar to the North American wood duck.
The adult male or drake has a red bill with a large white crescent are starting above the eye and reddish face. It has a cap starting at it's beak of green, blue and purple blending into red then back into green blue and purple. The male has a purple breast with two vertical white bars, and the sides have vertical strips of brown and white blending into a tan underside. One very striking feature besides all the different colors are his two orange sails at the back which are large feathers that stick up like boat sails. The female is is nearly identical to the female wood duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye. Both the males and females have crests, but the purple crest is more pronounced on the male.
Like most ducks, the male undergoes a moult after the mating season and goes into it's eclipse plumage. When in eclipse plumage, the male looks similar to the female.
May 31st, 2020
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