Mandarin duck is an extraordinary and unforgettable duck. Mandarins in ancient China were called representatives of the nobility, dressed in elegant robes. Where does the bird live, what does it eat? Can I breed at home?
- Description of the bird, interesting facts
- Natural habitats and behavior in the wild
- What ducks eat in different seasons
- Breeding features
- Is it possible to breed at home
Description of the bird, interesting facts
Mandarin duck, or mandarin duck, is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful representatives of its kind. It is recognized as a cultural symbol in China.
Mandarin duck is a small wild duck. Its weight is 0.5-0.8 kg, and its length is no more than 50 cm. It is attributed to the genus of forest birds. Perfectly swims and dives, moves briskly on land and flies.
The male is endowed with the most spectacular plumage. Its striking color scheme makes it visible from afar. Exotic coloration is present during the mating season, beginning in September and ending in July. The males are covered with white, red, orange, purple and green feathers.
The head is decorated with a tufted, and the neck is decorated with sideburns. On the wings there is one elongated fiery orange feather. The colorful picture is complemented by bright red beaks and yellow legs. When a bird swims in a body of water, the feathers fold in such a way that they become like a saddle.
Females have a more modest appearance, have a natural color range and less body weight than males. The abdomen of the ducks is white, the tuft is located on the neat head, the eyes seem to be summed up. The main feather colors are beige, gray and olive. The female should be less visible, not attract the attention of predatory animals and engage in incubation of eggs.
Interesting Tangerine Facts:
- At the end of the mating season, the color of the male is simplified and resembles that of the females.
- This is the only species of non-quacking ducks in the world. The bird makes sounds that resemble a whistle or squeak.
- The duck cannot be crossed with other members of the species due to differences in the genotype.
- Birds do not build nests in the same place twice in a row, they prefer to change their location.
- The younger the female, the fewer eggs she lays.
If we are talking about the mandarin rocking bird, then the photos are spectacular. And to see her in nature is just an unforgettable sight.
Natural habitats and behavior in the wild
Populations of colorful ducks live in the East: in China, Japan and Korea. The species is also found in America, Great Britain and Ireland. The mandarin duck is also found on Sakhalin Island, on the banks of the Amur, as well as in the Khabarovsk and Primorsky Territories. If the average air temperature does not exceed 5 degrees, ducks fly to a new habitat.
Birds gather in flocks, choose forests for life, located near water bodies. They prefer forest thickets on coasts with a humid climate or small rocks near rivers. At the end of the breeding season, mandarins may adjoin flocks of other species of ducks.
Birds are famous for their excellent adaptability to living conditions.
Bird hunting is prohibited. The bird is listed in the Red Book and is considered rare.
Some animals hunt ducks: foxes, raccoons, squirrels, martens, birds of prey. Enemies sometimes invade the nests.
Although uncommon for ducks, mandarin duck live in trees and make nests 7-10 m above the ground. In flight, birds are agile and maneuverable, easily take off into the air. Due to their small size, ducks quickly jump from branch to branch. Adults teach small chicks to fly, which, at the first attempt, plan well, as a result of which they remain intact. Once near the reservoir, kids learn to swim.
Mandarin duck can dive. However, they do this only in cases of extreme need. For example, when there is a threat of a predator attack.
Some people think of ducks as faithful birds. In fact, tangerines change partners every year.
What ducks eat in different seasons
The diet of birds consists of plant food, representatives of the fauna that live in water bodies, cereals, insects, and varies depending on the season. There are different sources of food available to ducks at every season of the year.
In summer, tangerines catch frogs, small fish, snails, molluscs and worms. This is the season for the most nutritious food.
In the fall, the diet includes mainly plant products - cereals, seeds, nuts. Ducks are very fond of acorns, for the sake of this delicacy, birds climb oak trees, look for fruits under trees, on rocky slopes and in the water. Such maneuvers are not difficult due to the skills of vertical climbing on branches. In early autumn, tangerines go out into the fields in small flocks in search of rice and buckwheat.
Spring is the time for mixed meals. In this season, tangerines get plant and animal food, find seeds, catch insects and snails. Horsetail shoots are especially weak.
The search for food, and its eating falls on the time of dawn and dusk. During the day, birds sit in trees or in thickets near water bodies and rest.
In autumn, males acquire a motley and catchy plumage. During the mating season, they attract females with their bright appearance and dancing on the water. In the fight for a duck, drakes can behave very aggressively with an opponent. In the flocks, the fight for the lady begins.
After choosing a mate, a pair of birds keeps together until the end of the mating season. The female is looking for a nesting place, accompanied by a male. A hollow in a tree is chosen, which is located near the river, or a nest is twisted on branches.
In mid-spring, the female lays 10-12 eggs and incubates. Since she cannot leave the nest, the male obtains and brings food for her.
Chicks hatch from eggs after a month, have a good appetite, quickly gain weight and grow.
Parents of mandarin ducks come out very attentive and caring. Not only the female, but also the male is engaged in raising offspring. They quickly begin learning to swim and dive. Young birds at the age of 6-7 weeks can already fly, and from that moment they become adult birds.
Since mandarins are thermophilic, in the event of a sharp drop in air temperature and frost, chicks may die.
Is it possible to breed at home
Now you can find more and more advertisements "I will sell decorative ducks", under which there are photos of mandarin ducks. Indeed, breeding of decorative birds is not uncommon nowadays. If you wish, you can grow a colorful duck at home.
In captivity, conditions are created that are similar to natural ones. With good maintenance, ducks breed well and feel comfortable in the vicinity of other waterfowl.
In the warm season, caring for tangerines is the least troublesome. The presence of a reservoir, trees, branches and posts is required. Birds should have enough room to stay and stay. Plastic rods and perches don't work.
Since tangerines are thermophilic creatures, when the temperature drops to 5 C and below, the birds are transferred to insulated aviaries. Straw or hay is used as bedding.
The presence of a reservoir remains an unchanged condition. It could be an artificial pool. The water needs to be warmed up daily, water procedures are vital for birds.
To keep the ducks healthy and active, have a balanced diet. Adequate nutrition includes vegetation, grains, and animal protein foods.
Organize 24/7 access to:
- sunflower or soybean meal.
In warm seasons, when there is an abundance of greenery in the gardens, the leaves of dandelions, plantains, duckweed greens are crumbled to birds.
Do not forget that tangerines' favorite food is acorns. In the fall, stock up on the product to the maximum and pamper the ducks. Chopped raw carrots, boiled cereals, bran are also added to the menu.
Do not forget about food of animal origin, which is especially necessary during the breeding season. Birds are given snails, daphnia, frogs, fresh minced meat or fish.
Protein content should not exceed 20% of the daily feed intake. An increase in the recommended amount provokes the development of diseases.
For breeding mandarins, a nest box measuring 40x40x50 cm is made. Attached to the wall or placed on tree branches.
Ducks raised in an aviary are not always good brood hens and are able to throw eggs. In such a situation, they find another bird and put it in the nest. Ordinary domestic ducks or chickens with offspring are "invited" as hens. If there is no new mother for the chicks, an incubator is used. However, chicks, in this case, can become very shy, weak and even die of hunger.
If the mother is caught responsible, the babies quickly leave the nest and learn basic skills. After the youngsters learn to swim and fly, they are released into independent life, to the pond.
If you decide to start an exotic duck on your own farm, weigh the pros and cons. In order for the bird to live and develop fully, it is necessary to create adequate living conditions.
Mandarin duck is a miniature bright duck that will not leave anyone indifferent. In most regions of habitat it is considered rare and listed in the Red Book. The bird is also bred at home. For this, artificial ponds and pools will be organized. Ducks can be a decoration of your own site.
Now let's see how a mandarin duck looks like in the video: