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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Mandarin



Awaiting image for this species




(Mandarin Duck)

Aix galericulata


  • Mandarin (Mandarin Duck)
  • Aix galericulata
  • UK: Introduced breeder
  • UK: 7000 adults (summer) RSPB
  • WI: Rare visitor (less than 30 records), Escape or from feral naturalized population (Domestic flocks gone wild)
  • A bird of China introduced to the UK, escaped capitvity & now an established UK population
  • Habitat: (Nest in cavities in trees) Densely wooded areas by shallow lakes, marshes, ponds
  • Diet: Feeds by dabbling or walking on land. Mostly vegetation inc seeds, (especially beechmast), also insects & land snails.
  • Medium size (41-49 cm long) perching duck. Male elaborate & ornate plumage. Large white crescent above eye. Long orange feathers on side of face, orange 'sails' on back, pale orange flanks. Breast purple (with 2 vertical bars). Large red bill.
    Female not so flamboyant: Paler below. Grey head & white eye-ring & stripe behind eye, brown back, mottled flanks, Pale bill tip.
  • Max recorded age 10yr 4mths


Feeds mostly near dawn or dusk, perching in trees or on the ground during the day.

The bird is native to Eastern Asia, but it has been exported on a vast scale and much of it's habitat has been destroyed, now populations in Russia and China are estimated to be less than 1,000 pairs, with an additional 5,000 pairs in Japan.

Escapes from collections in the UK have established a feral population numbering about 1,000 pairs. A population of global importance, however because the birds are not native to the UK they do not have protected status here.

Super photograph of a female mandarin (& drakes) on Steven Round's web site.




Mandarin records in the Western Isles

Rare visitor (less than 30 records), Escape or from feral naturalized population (Domestic flocks gone wild)


The chart below shows how abundant the Mandarin is during a month or when you are more likely to see it.















(Source: Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)



Male or female ducks and their collective nouns

Some people use the word duck only for an adult female and drake for an adult male whilst others say hen and drake.

Waterfowl collective nouns (From WIKI):
waterfowl (on water) A raft
waterfowl A bunch of waterfowl
waterfowl (less than 30) A knob
ducks, swimming A paddling of ducks
waterfowl A plump
ducks, idle in water A raft of ducks
ducks, diving A dopping of ducks
ducks, on ground A badelynge of ducks
ducks, flying A flight, plump, or team of ducks
ducks A brace, bunch, flock, skein, sord, string, brace, flush




Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section

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