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Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck
Photo Information
Copyright: Mario Olteanu (Mariol) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 160 W: 15 N: 1654] (8221)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-12
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon 100-400L 4.5-5.6 IS USM, Hoya 77mm HMC Super U.V.
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/2000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-10-12 18:36
Viewed: 4926
Favorites: 4 [view]
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This Mandarin Duck appeared today on the pond close to my house. He behaves just like the local Mallards, feeds and even fights with them. It is the first time I see this bird in the wild (he is probably an escapee) and I wonder if he can survive over the winter.

The Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata), or just Mandarin, is a medium-sized perching duck, closely related to the North American Wood Duck. It is 41-49 cm long with a 65-75 cm wingspan.

The adult male is a striking and unmistakable bird. It has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and "whiskers". The breast is purple with two vertical white bars, and the flanks ruddy, with two orange "sails" at the back. The female is similar to female Wood Duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye, but is paler below, has a small white flank stripe, and a pale tip to its bill[2]

The species was once widespread in eastern Asia, but large-scale exports and the destruction of its forest habitat have reduced populations in eastern Russia and in China to below 1,000 pairs in each country; Japan, however, is thought to still hold some 5,000 pairs.[3]

Specimens frequently escape from collections, and in the 20th century a feral population numbering about 1,000 pairs was established in Great Britain. Although this is of great conservational significance, the birds are not protected in the UK since the species is not native there.

In the wild, Mandarin Ducks breed in densely wooded areas near shallow lakes, marshes or ponds. They nest in cavities in trees close to water. Shortly after the ducklings hatch, their mother flies to the ground and coaxes the ducklings to leap from the nest. The Asian populations are migratory, overwintering in lowland eastern China and southern Japan.

Mandarins feed by dabbling or walking on land. They mainly eat plants and seeds, especially beechmast. They feed mainly near dawn or dusk, perching in trees or on the ground during the day.

Mandarins may form small flocks in winter, but rarely associate with other ducks.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia}

greghume, robindb, siggi, CeltickRanger, lise, Juyona has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Mario,
This is one of my favorite birds - the coloration is fantastic. The range of color on the bird is not as obvious in this shot, but the reflected fall color more than makes up for it. Sharp, well composed and nice note.

Hello Mario

Exceptional clarity and sharpness.
The lighting is well managed,with superb natural colours.
Excellent POV and DOF.
A wonderful creation.


  • Great 
  • eev Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 64 W: 33 N: 66] (756)
  • [2008-10-12 23:22]

Well Mario, you should get a ton of points for this shot. The composition, framing, colors, sharpness are flawless.. It's an absolutely gorgeous shot that I hope you don't mind me marking is as one of my favorites. Fantastic.

TFS Yves

Hi Mario,

Good detail, focus and composition. One can even see detail in the reflection. From the figures mentioned 7000 pairs does not sound like much. Well done.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-10-13 0:23]

Great shot Mario.
Very clear and colourful, great sharpness, well exposed and composed.
Excellent work.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-10-13 1:08]

Hello Mario,
Fantastic sharp-detailed photo in wonderful clear colours. The reflection in the water is gorgeous.
Very good POV, BG and DOF.

Buna Mario
Is nice this small duck. I like the reflection in the water.

hello Mario

i was surprised a Mandarin Duck in the wild in Canada !
as you write maybe he is probably an escapee,
excellente shot always like your other images,
excellent luminosity of the image, excellent sharpness
and details of the duck and what a superb reflection on water,



  • Great 
  • lise Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 169 W: 48 N: 548] (2877)
  • [2008-10-13 7:58]

Hi Mario,
I've never had the chance to see a mandarin duck, this is such a beautiful bird. The sharpness and details are amazing, wonderful colours.
Very well done

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-10-13 12:48]

Hola Mario,
precioso pov,
ricos colores y bello ambiente
reflejos de lujo,

Beautiful capture Mario. I'm down the road In Hamilton and we have Wood Ducks year round. Both Mandarin and Wood Ducks are always nice too see. Thanks!

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