Mandarin Ducks

The Mandarin, is widely regarded as the world's most beautiful duck and is a native of China. The drake's stunning plumage has made it an artist's favorite that is widely depicted in oriental art. In nature, Mandarins favor small wooded ponds and avoid lakes or large bodies of open water. They are extremely maneuverable fliers, able to fly through trees with remarkable agility. Mandarin males chose a duck for the breeding season. There is some discrepancy as to whether a male will breed with a second female. I have never seen a male breed with any other than his chosen duck. The drake mandarin's display is highly ritualized, and includes raising the crest and the orange sails, and ritualized drinking and preening behind the sail. The so-called sail is an elongated tertial feather..

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