Facts about Mandarin ducks. Scientific name for Mandarin duck "Anas Platyrhynchos" meaning - Wild dabbling duck from which domestic ducks are descended; widely distributed. From New Latin "anas" meaning (Duck) and the word Platyrhynchos comes from "platyrrhine", Ancient Greek meaning (broad snouted, flat-bridged nose).
"Mandarin Duck" is a roosting duck variety that belongs to the genus Aix of the Anatidae family. The binomial name of the Mandarin Duck is Aix galericulata and they can be largely seen in East Asia. Mandarin Ducks prefer to live in the thick, shrubby wooded edges of lakes and rivers. It typically occurs in low-lying regions, but it may also breed in valleys at an altitude of 4,900 feet (1,500 meters). During the winter season, the Mandarin Ducks are largely found in flooded fields, marshes, and open rivers. Though Mandarin Ducks prefer freshwater, they may be seen wintering in estuaries and coastal lagoons, as well. In its native European range, the Mandarin Duck breed lives in more open homes than in its indigenous range, around the edges of water meadows, lakes and cultivated regions with forest nearby.
Features of Mandarin duck
The Mandarin duck is an average-sized bird, with the body length that ranges from 16 inches to 19 inches (41 cm to 49 cm) and a wingspan between 26 inches and 30 inches (65 cm and 75 cm).
The adult male Mandarin duck is an arresting and instantly recognizable bird. The adult Mandarin Duck has a red color bill, with large white semi-circle patch above its eye and red color face and whiskers. The breast of the Mandarin Duck is purple in color, with two perpendicular white bars, and the reddish flanks, with two orange-colored sails at its back. The female Mandarin Duck can be seen with a white eye-ring and a band of color, running back from its eye, but it is paler below, having a small white flank line, and a light tip to its bill.
Both female and male Mandarin Ducks have crests, but the crest is more obvious on the male bird. The ducklings of the Mandarin duck are almost the same in look to wood ducklings, and they are identical to mallard ducklings. The Mandarin ducklings can be differentiated from mallard ducklings because the eye-stripe of a Mandarin duckling discontinues at the eye, whereas in mallard ducklings, it extends up to the bill.
There are a variety of mutations of the Mandarin duck found in the captivity. The most widespread mutation is the white Mandarin duck. even though the origin of this change is not known, is assumed that the continuous pairing of associated birds and choosy breeding have shown the way to recessive DNA combinations, leading to hereditary conditions as well as albinism.
Diet of Mandarin duck
The Mandarin Duck usually feeds by walking or dabbling on land. The Mandarin Duck mostly feeds on seeds and plants, particularly beech mast. Mandarin Ducks are omnivores, (definition-they eat both other animals and plants). Occasionally, the Mandarin Duck will also feed on insects, snails and small fish. The food of the Mandarin Duck breed will change, according to the season. During the winter and fall, Mandarin Duck will feed on grains and acorns. During the spring season, Mandarin Ducks generally eat snails, insects, aquatic plants, and fish. Mandarin Ducks will feed on small fish, dew worms, frogs, small snakes, and mollusks during the summer season. The Mandarin duck feeds mostly near dawn or dusk, roosting on the ground or in trees during the daytime.
The maximum lifespan of the Mandarin duck is 20 years.
A Mandarin Duck is a Precocial (meaning) Born or hatched with the eyes open, a covering of hair or down, capable of a high degree of independent activity from birth and able to leave the nest just a few hours after hatching.
An male adult Mandarin Duck is called a (drake) and a adult female Mandarin Duck is called a (hen). A young baby Mandarin Duck is called a (duckling). A group of ducks is called a brace, raft, team, flock, or paddling. The female (hen) are usually a plain colored brown for hiding purposes to be camouflaged from their enemies when they are sitting in their nests.
Water-proof feathers of Mandarin duck
A special feature that the Mandarin Duck has is its water-proof feathers, even when the Mandarin Duck dives underwater, its downy under-layer of feathers will stay totally 100% dry. There is a special gland called the "Preen Gland" also called Oil Gland or Uropygial, that produces oil that is near the Mandarin Ducks tail which covers and spreads the outer coat of the Mandarin Ducks feathers, which makes the duck water-proof.
The male Mandarin Duck will guard their nest by chasing away other ducks. Once the female lays 5 to 10 eggs, she will start to sit on her eggs to keep them warm so that they can hatch into baby ducklings. The eggs will hatch on average within 26 to 28 days. Baby ducklings are able to fly within 5 to 8 weeks. Mandarin Ducks will lay more eggs, when there is more daylight, that's why farmers will keep the lights on in the ducks house for longer periods of time.
Mandarin Ducks see in color with very good vision and can see well underwater. Mandarin Ducks fly in a “V” shape to makes flying easier.
underneath the water-proof coat are downy soft fluffy feathers which keep the Mandarin Ducks body warm. Mandarin Ducks keep clean by being able to turn their heads completely backwards, and put their beaks into their feathers by preening themselves.
A "bill" is what is call a Mandarin Ducks mouth. There are no teeth in the ducks bill, they have rows of thin bristles, which helps them to filter pieces of nutrition out of the water. Mandarin Ducks swallow there food whole and it goes to an organ called a gizzard, were the food is first ground up and than moves on to the stomach. The different bill shapes and sizes for finding food, has over time mutated to fit each environment. The Mandarin Duck bill is flat and broad and has rows of fine incision along the outer edge called "lamellae". meaning a thin membrane, plate, scale or layer, as of cell wall or bone tissue. The larnellae helps the Mandarin Duck to clutch food for feeding.
Mandarin Ducks have webbed feet, that makes them act like paddles, designed for swimming. They push their webbed paddle feet back in a kicking motion, this allows the Mandarin Duck to move swift through the water and when the feet come back, they close for less water resistance. The duck's paddle feet do not feel cold, even when it swims in cold icy water. The webbed feet makes a Mandarin Duck waddle instead of walk. The Mandarin Ducks feet have capillaries which help blood flow to their feet. The warm blood flow down the leg and creates a heat exchange system. When the blood flows down the leg, it meets the cold blood and is warmed up to keep the Mandarin Ducks feet warm. Mandarin Ducks feet are thin because they contain soft tissue and few muscles.