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The Zoo has one Mandarin ducks: a male named Mr. Yoshi Nakamura. He was captive hatched on May 26, 1999 and arrived at the Zoo on June 29, 1999 from a waterfowl breeder in Pennsylvania.
McNeil Avian Center
Male Mandarin ducks are considered by many to be the most beautifully colored of all waterfowl. The male's chestnut and green crest and the bright orange "sails" on his back are distinctive. For most of the summer, however, the male Mandarin duck loses his distinctive plumage and looks almost like a female Mandarin. Following the breeding season, the males molt all of their colorful feathers, which do not re-grow until sometime in the fall.
In captivity, Mandarin ducks easily live 6 to 7 years of age and can live over 10.
Mandarin ducks have an elaborate courtship display involving whistling calls, raising of crests and sail feathers, head-bobbing and display preening. They nest in the holes of hollow tree trunks adding some of their own downy feathers to cushion the nest. The female, alone, incubates her clutch of 9 to 12 eggs. Chicks hatch after 28 to 30 days and, shortly after hatching, jump from the nest to the ground and head for water. Nest cavities can be as high as 30 feet off the ground but the ducklings make it to the ground unhurt even though they cannot yet fly. The ducklings stay close to the female for about eight weeks at which time they are able to fly and fend for themselves.
Mandarin ducks are most active foraging around dawn and dusk. You can often see them sleeping in a shaded area during the day.
Mandarin ducks are one of the "perching" ducks. Their legs are set farther forward on their bodies than most other ducks so that they are able to walk around on land more easily and are often found perching in trees.
16 to 20 inches in length
15 to 18 ounces
In the wild, Mandarin ducks eat vegetable matter and invertebrates. In the Zoo, they eat waterfowl pellets and greens.
Mandarin ducks' native range is eastern Asia and Japan. Populations now also live in western Europe and Great Britain where humans introduced them.
To learn more about the conservation efforts at the Philadelphia Zoo, click here.
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