One of the most beautiful and striking - indeed one of the most beautiful birds - in the world. The Japanese name for the Mandarin Duck is“Oshidori”which means “beloved bird”. The Japanese have loved Mandarin Duck for thousands of years.
A couple of Mandarin Duck drawn on the Kensington Park information map in London
In the Orient, there is a special story that the Buddha had once reincarnated as a Mandarin Duck and in Chinese culture there is the story of the“Pledge of the Mandarin Duck couple”. The Japans have a special love for the Mandarin in art and culture.
The Mandarin Duck which originated in China is also popular in Western culture. British ornithologist wrote in his book, THE WOOD DUCK AND THE MANDARIN“Today, Mandarin are better known and more admired in their adopted home in Britain than in those countries where they occur naturally ”
Over 1,000 Mandarins winter on this lake in Japan. The Japanese population of Mandarins is the highest in the world
When the snow melts large flock of Mandarin can often be seen.
There are three types of Mandarin Duck that winter in Japan. Resident birds, Migrating birds from Tohoku and Hokkaido and Migrating birds from the Russian Far East and China. Fukuda considers the migratory birds the most.
In the first week of April after the snow has disappeared, Mandarin Ducks come back to the river in the forest in Russia.
A couple is alternately preening each other
After mating the males who have formed a couple begin to shed some of their bright feathers. The female also begin to shed feathers after the babies can fly.