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Chi-Ling Mandarin Duck

Chi-Ling Mandarin Duck
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-03-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 HZ DG Macro, Digital ISO 100, UV 62mm Kenko
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/200 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Exotic Ducks Of The World, Ducks, Birds / Aves, Different Birds, A study in Ornithology (birds) 1, Dedications at Trek Nature, My Dedications ;o) [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-03-10 23:22
Viewed: 9551
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 41
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Mandarin duck - Aix galericulato

Taken during a visit to the Umgeni Bird Park in Durban. This mandarin was in no mood for any physical exertion, so I decided to portray the duck showing this specific behaviour, resting or just 'chilling out' (read more on this in "Behaviour" below).

Due to the 'Chinese connection' this 'Chi-Ling' duck is dedicated to our friend Chi Liu, who just celebrated his 100th posting.


In full plumage, the male Mandarin is the most beautiful of all ducks. They have an iridescent crown extending to a long crest, chestnut cheeks, and a maroon breast with black & white vertical stripes. The abdomen & underside are white with gold & black flanks. The back & tail are olive brown, the upper tail coverts are blue/green, and the scapulars are iridescent blue. The outer tertials are orange & gold on the inner web and form a sail shape that is raised vertically above the back. This sail shape & the white-eye stripe distinguishes the male from all others. The upper wing surface is mostly olive brown. The bill is red and they have whitish legs with yellow feet. Females are duller in colour and lack the crested head. Juveniles resemble the females but males have a pinkish bill.

Distribution & Habitat
They originated in China but can be found wherever there is a suitable habitat. They are semi-migratory, semi-colonial, and can be found in zoos around the world. They prefer woodlands (next to water that has many trees with holes for nesting), mountain areas with streams, marshland, and forests.

Feeding occurs during day or night, but during the daytime they spend much of their time resting in shady areas. Males guard hens & ducklings. They are highly social but males spontaneously fight one another. The calls of the Mandarin sound similar to "ge, ge", "wooing" & "bifu". Males also makes a high-pitched staccato bark, and heard least often, is the grunting sound, similar to that of a wild pig.

Because of their devotion to one another, they are regarded in China & Japan as a symbol of love, happiness & marital fidelity.

Diet consists of seeds, acorns, grain, aquatic plants, insects, land snails, small fish, dew worms, grasshoppers, frogs, mollusks & small snakes.

They nest in tree holes situated over water. The nest is lined with down with a clutch size of 8-10 eggs. The mother is very protective of her ducklings & her eggs. She will decoy predators away from the nest. The male plays no part in the incubation process, which lasts about 30 days. Despite the protectiveness of their parents, half or more of the ducklings do not survive the first 2 weeks of life.

Not listed in CITES as endangered, but can be considered as near threatened or of special concern.

These include mink, raccoons, otters, polecats, eagle owls & grass snakes. Source.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

goutham_ramesh, chiliu, pvs, Janice, fiyo, coasties, AndyB, viv, anavazao, Dyker, Miss_Piggy, sranjan, Rehanna, betsie, Aaltjie has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To wuta: Try is nice 2loot 1 03-11 16:03
To wuta: Try is niceloot 1 03-11 15:46
To carper: Valued critiqueloot 2 03-11 13:08
To coasties: Great duckloot 1 03-11 05:40
To manyee: Chillloot 4 03-11 05:18
To Janice: Dirty Duckloot 1 03-11 05:00
To chiliu: What a pleasureloot 1 03-11 02:53
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-03-10 23:56]
  • [+]

Hi Loot,
It is my dream to take a photo of one of these ducks.
You beat me to it, despite MY Chinese connection. : P
What a beauty! The colors and patterns are just breathtaking.
The Maker, whoever we conceive Him or Her to be, must have had a field day creating this one. : )
Excellent exposure and focus, and wonderful POV.
I am glad you let His Beautyship "chill". TFS. : )

Hi Loot,

What a colorful bird, i have see pictures of these with my friend shop in Jurong Bird park, Singapore.
Good exposure and color !!

Goutham R

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-03-11 1:56]

Hi Loot,

A clourfull duck overhere with excellent details,
well done

well Loot,
what I mis in the shot is a composition, when this Duck had give a look in the camera, it was much better. Personal i think it was better when you could capture him in the water, with a nice reflection. It is laying in his own dirt now. Sorry for the hard critique but I have seen much better photo's of your hand.
gr. jaap

Hello Loot!
Thank you very much for your kindness and I love this photo!
This is a brilliant shot, excellent lighting,
sharp details and beautiful colour.

Thanks again my friend!

What a beauty Loot, the most attractive duck ever created I think. The patterns and colours are all so varied and different. In fact it doesn't look real!
You show us his amazing colours Loot, well taken and nice and sharp. But it is a pity seeing him on the dirty ground. Not always easy to get them to do what we want them to do, I know!
But still the dirt can't hide its beauty. TFS and for the notes too,

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2006-03-11 4:05]

Hello Loot,
Very nice shot; sharpness, colors, light, composition, everything is excellent !

Hi Loot

This is my favourite exotic duck. I love these guys and spent many hours researching where to find them in New Zealand. I finally, after many hours, found that a place called Ngatea, a small town 2 hours from where I live, have a pair at a water garden park. My husband and I visited and I got some wonderful shots.

You have done a wonderful job here. The depth of colour is perfect. I find his mate equally as attractive just a bit dull in colour, but her eyes are spellbinding! This is just perfect my frend. Thank you! I have added him to the theme 'Exotic Ducks Of The World' :-)

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2006-03-11 9:49]

Hi Loot,
These ducks have beautiful colours which you've captured perfectly.
Nice sharp detail and very good exposure.
Yes, it would have even more impact if it were on calm water.The reflections that these give can look superb.
A great capture none the less.


  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2006-03-11 10:49]

Hello Loot,
Those ducks are so colourfull, beautifull and thatīs why they are photogenique.

Hi Loot!
What a pretty duck! It's a feast of colours and really seems to have a good time.

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-03-11 14:46]
  • [+]

Hello Loot , you have a very good duck photo , beauty colours
sharpnes details and pov , this manderin ducks ar beauyiful
and sorry my engels ar not so good ,thanks for you comments
a try it nice weekend Teunie .

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-03-13 15:29]

Hello Loot,
beautiful colors on this duck and you captured them so beautifully. The sharpness and the details are great, good POV.

good colours, composition and details!
Nice note!
TFS Ana:)

  • Great 
  • Etka Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 95 W: 0 N: 59] (514)
  • [2006-05-12 16:43]

Czesc Loot! Zdjecie wspaniale! "Mandarynki" zyja rowniez w moim kraju czyli w Polsce ale jeszcze nie mialam okazji zobaczyc je na wlasne oczy. To przepiekny ptak. Gratuluje!Congratulates, beautiful !

Hello Loot

Hierdie is loshand die pragtigste en veelkleurigste eendjie onder die son. Ek gril net 'n bietjie om te sien hoe dit in die tjorts lÍ en dan besef ek maar net opnuut dat dit maar die onopgesmuktheid van die natuur is.

'n Pragtige foto wat die kleure en die besonderhede van die eend baie mooi wys. Die fokus is skerp en die beligting het verseker dat alles duidelik sigbaar is en waardeer kan word. Goeie werk nogeens.


Wow Loot. Ek het al baie van hierdie in lewende lywe gesien, maar kleure so helder soos hierdie, nog nie. Hierdie
eende is natuurlik volop by al die mere en damme in Denemarke - eintlik oorbevolk en baie morsig. Lekker dag vir jou

Hallo Loot
The Mandarin Duck has so many vibrant colours, and you brought all those to its best with your camera work. Although we try to get a bird or animal in a favourable pose or surrounding, it is not always possible, and it is a pity that this one decided to be lazy the day you wanted to photograph it and stayed put on the ground. It is never the less a great capture, with lovely detail captured on the feathers. It is very interesting how the texture differs on the different feathers. Some are smooth like the copper brown ones, then the olive ones that looks like ripples of water, the ones on the belly that looks like snake skin and the "wet look" ones in the neck area. It was indeed a pleasure to look at this rainbow of feathers.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-01-13 3:44]

Hello Loot,
This is a lovely capture of this beautiful Mandarin Duck resting on the warm ground. Excellent details of the colourful plumage from a fine POV.
We had one here in the wild for a few years in a row. He'd fallen in love with a Mallard lady and the pair were very obliging when photographed.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hello Loot
I'll join Anna and Ulla and give my comments to this lovely image. Really awesome. I just love this photograph. You chose the correct and most appropriate title and the dedication is just great. I wonder what happened to Chi as I don't see him around the site at the moment. Such a lovely combination of colours. Detail is bright and warm. Looking at this bird give me goose bumps. A truly and exceptionally good photo. Iíll add it to my favourites.
Congratulations and well done.
Kind regards
Aaltjie & Hettie

Hi Loot,

Great picture of this wonderful duck, with great colours and fabulous detail. I have also tried to get a shot of this duck with a lot less success than you.
Great capture and TFS


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