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Bird name:

Mandarin Duck

Aix galericulata




Geese and Ducks (Anatidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Lakes, lagoons and calm rivers, Lakes, wooded shores

Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Promiscuous

Egg Colour:

White, creamy or buff.

Number of Eggs:

9 - 15

Incubation Days:

28 - 30

Egg Incubator:


Nest Material:

Lined with down and feathers.

Nest Location:

Tree hole up to 30 feet from ground.




Mandarin Duck: Small, fancy duck. Dark green and red-brown crown, buff and white face, orange-brown on cheeks and throat, and pink-orange bill with white tip. Purple-black back and breast with two white lines. Tawny sides with fine black barring and orange-brown feathers that stand up on lower back. Female has rounded head with long, swept-back crest. Head dark brown-grey with white eye ring and line behind eye. White on throat and near base of bill. Dark, grey-brown back and wings with dark green patch. Brown-grey underparts spotted pale grey.

Range and Habitat

Mandarin Duck: Introduced breeder in Britain. Most commonly seen in southeast and central England, small populations can be found in Wales and Scotland. Scarce in Ireland. Visible year round, birds can be found on marshes, and at lakes and ponds with thickly wooded edges.

Breeding and Nesting

Mandarin Duck: Pair bonding may extend for several years; males may be promiscuous during incubation. Female chooses nesting site, lays 9-12 eggs at daily intervals. Eggs hatch within a few hours of each other and chicks quickly crawl from nest hole and tumble to ground. Juvenile females tend young.

Foraging and Feeding

Mandarin Duck: Eats plant material gathered on edges of shallow lakes and marshes. Feeding during dawn or dusk they also eat small invertebrates like snails and insects as well as seeds like beechnut.


Mandarin Duck: Generally silent. During courtship the male gives a whistle or a sharp "whik" in flight and the female gives short clucking notes.

Similar Species

Mandarin Duck: None in range. The conspicuous orange 'sails' and maned head make misidentification unlikely.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

The upper front part of a bird.
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX