Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata (Linnaeus, 1758)

(Extremely rare IR)

♂ Mandarin Aix galericulata, Cannop Ponds, Glos © Nigel Milbourne, 2012

  1. One, adult ♂, 3rd Oct. 1993 (A.H. Davis).
  2. One, ♂ not aged, 15th July 2006 (G. Davies).
  3. One, adult , 3rd-8th Nov. 2006 (R. Mielcarek, R.G. Palmer et al.).
  4. Five, 2 & 3♀ adults, 25th Oct. 2013 (S. Isgar, N.R. Milbourne et al.).
  5. One, eclipse adult ♂, 16th July to 15th Aug. 2018 (N.R. Milbourne et al.).
  6. Four, 27th Oct. 2018 (M. Patch).

Mandarin Ducks are native to east Asia; Russian Ussuriland, northern China, Sakhalin Island, Kunashir in the Kuril Islands and Hokkaido in Japan. They were brought to Britain before 1745 for a private collection and the first one seen living in the wild was shot on the River Thames in Berkshire during 1866 (Palmer, 2000). The most recent estimate of the population in Britain (2004-2009) is 7000 and stable, but it is a fairly significant part of the global population of 65-66000 (Wetlands International 2006), some parts of which are in decline.

The bird that I saw in November 2006 did not bear any rings so is probably from the naturalized introduced population, but as the species is kept widely in captivity, the spectre of escape or deliberate release cannot be discounted for any of the records. Indeed, W. Duckworth (Saltford) established that two batches of Mandarins released onto a private pond in that area walked to the River Avon (although pinioned) and escaped in 2009 and 2015 resulting in a surge in records in the area. It is possible, therefore, that the multiple arrival of birds in 2013 may refer to some of these escapees.

Bibliography (sources of information)
  1. BirdLife International website
  2. British Ornithologists' Union (BOU) website
  3. British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) website
  4. Davis, A.H. (ed.) Avon Bird Report, 1993. Avon Ornithological Group.
  5. Palmer, P. 2000. First for Britain and Ireland 1600-1999. Arlequin Press, Chelmsford, Essex.
  6. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2006. Avon Ornithological Group.
  7. Rose, Dr H.E. (ed.). Avon Bird Report, 2013. Avon Ornithological Group.

Updated 27 October, 2018