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The Mandarin duck is a beautifully colored bird with a greenish-black forehead and a purple crest near the back of the head. The sides of the head are creamy white with a chestnut patch below the eyes. The sides of the neck and the cheeks have longer brown feathers.
Mandarin ducks are sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females differ in appearance. Males are very colorful,they have a dark purple chest with black and white stripes, brown wings with a blue-green edge, and a long brown and white crown.
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.The mandarin duck nests in holes in trees, sometimes high up and a long way from the water.In the wild, mandarin ducks breed in densely wooded areas near shallow lakes, marshes or ponds. 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. Shortly after the ducklings hatch, the female flies down and tries to coach the young to jump from the nest. Once they have left the tree and made their way back to water, the father will return to the family and help to protect the ducklings.
They mate for life and are considered loyal and devoted to their chosen partner. Mandarins feed by dabbling or walking on land. They mainly eat plants and seeds, especially beech mast. The species will also add snails, insects and small fish to its diet.
The diet of mandarin ducks changes seasonally, in the fall and winter, they mostly eat acorns and grains.The mallards only defense mechanism is to fly away, other than that there is nothing it can do once a predator attacks. Mother Mallard ducks are extremely defensive of her ducklings and will sacrifice her life so that they can get away.
There hasn't been a lot of research into the lifespans of mandarin ducks. Some sources say that they live around 6-7 years,others think that they can clock around 10 years.
The best way to get them to trust you is to show up on a regular basis, every day if possible, and feed them. As you are doing this, try to get them to come closer and closer to you. As they get closer to you and more comfortable to you, you can try reaching out to them and touch them. Just lightly.
The mandarin duck is medium-sized, at 41–49 cm (16–19 in) long with a 65–75 cm (26–30 in) wingspan. It is closely related to the North American wood duck, the only other member of the genus Aix.
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