The duck got its name for its colorful coloring, as well as in honor of an important, smartly dressed Chinese official - mandarin. In the plumage of these birds all the colors of the rainbow are collected and originally distributed. The males, as true gentlemen, stand out among the modest graceful ladies with a chic tuft on the head, formed by elongated feathers and whiskers. Like their relatives, mandarin ducks change their outfit twice a year. Drakes during the molting period are collected in large flocks, trying not to leave the thickets of shrubs, and are practically no different from their girlfriends. Therefore, at the time of molting it is difficult to accurately determine the place where the mandarin duck lives. What makes her interesting? What is so special about a small bird that attracts genuine interest and sincere curiosity to it?
Features duck mandarin duck
Mandarin Duck is characterized by excellent maneuverability and high flight speed: it can fly up in a matter of seconds. It is also characterized by the speed of swimming and briskness. The favorite place where the mandarin duck lives (photo) are trees hanging from the water or ledges of rocks.
Often she sits high on the water with a funny raised tail and dives only in case of a possible injury.
Such a bird is widespread in East Asia and some regions of Russia, namely in the Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories, on Sakhalin and in the Amur Region. Duck arranges wintering in China and Japan. Due to the rapidly declining population, this species of birds is listed in the Red Book. Since most of the hunters are not able to distinguish the mandarin from its usual relatives during the period when males drop bright marital dresses, hunting for it is simply prohibited. Mandarin ducks suffer from raccoon dogs that mercilessly ruin their nests. Also the cause of the population decline is hypothermia, which contributes to the death of chicks. It is difficult to determine where the mandarin duck lives in the dangers that await at every step. It is established that the surviving individuals are trying to survive, dwelling in impassable taiga ducts and old ladies littered with windbreaks.
Where does the mandarin duck live
The nests of mandarin ducks are arranged in the hollows of trees at different heights, sometimes reaching 10 meters. On the ground, this bird gets settled down quite rarely, since the rocky protrusions and branches of the trees where the mandarin duck lives are much safer and more comfortable for it. In clutch, from 7 to 14 eggs are usually observed, which the female incubates for about 32 days without ever leaving a nest for a minute.
Chicks are capricious and highly sensitive to low temperatures. As a rule, having hatched, they independently jump out onto the ground from the nest, and their height does not frighten them, and the falls end safely. From the moment of birth, babies almost immediately begin to swim and dive. This happens under close maternal supervision throughout the summer period.
Since wildlife has a devastating effect on the survival of ducks, where the maximum lifespan does not exceed 10 years, people have adapted to breed tangerines at home as a decorative bird. With proper care and rationally selected food in a calm home environment, she can live 25 years.
During the warm period, it is easy to artificially create conditions similar to the places where the mandarin duck lives. The bird can be kept in checkered cages, equipped at different heights with perches, protruding branches and containers with water. In case of cold weather, it is better to change the street situation to warmed rooms. Mandarin ducks are friendly to the rest of the birds, living with them in the same area, so you can safely release them into the pond with another bird. Pure water is precisely their element that delivers a sea of pleasure. After all, swimming for mandarin ducks is a favorite activity both in summer and in winter.
What eats duck mandarin duck
Favorite food mandarins - frogs and acorns, although the diet contains fish, beetles, aquatic plants, rice grains. When home content necessarily include in the diet of wheat bran, barley, oatmeal, corn, grass and fish meal, chalk. In the season, be sure to include in the food greens: chopped plantain leaves, lettuce, dandelion, watery duckweed.
Mandarin ducks are a symbol of marital fidelity, happy and mutual love, the female and the male are always together, they even fly at the same time. This bird chooses a partner once in a lifetime and, having separated from it, can die from loneliness. This devotion to each other made them a symbol of love and loyalty, which is reflected in the works of many authors: embroidery on silk, applications, engravings, vases and mosaics.
Mandarin Duck - a symbol of loyalty and marital happiness
In the old days, an offering to the newlyweds a picture with mandarin pictures was a tradition that prophesies a happy family life. For many centuries these ducks decorated the parks of Korea and Japan, and only wealthy people could afford to keep such exotic luxury.
There is a beautiful legend about these ducks. One Chinese gentleman, having decided to part with his wife, considered this serious step on a walk along the lake shore. At one point, his thoughts were interrupted by two mandarin ducks, who sat on the water. Having admired them, their delicate and full of caress and love behavior, the gentleman remembered the beautiful moments of his family life, and faded love flashed anew. Thus, the ducks saved almost collapsed marriage.
These unusual birds live in Mandarin mainly in East Asia. In Russia, it is Sakhalin Island, Khabarovsk Territory and the Far East.
Mandarin ducks winter in warm lands in Japan and China.
Mandarin deer is the only species from the duck family that dwells in the hollows of trees. Ducks sometimes make their nests at a height of up to fifteen meters. Because chicks need to swim, the chicks simply jump out of the nest. Fortunately, in most cases it ends quite safely.
At the time of nestling, and this is about four weeks, the duck does not throw a nest, and the whole family supplies the drake with food.
The diet of this breed of ducks includes:
- small fish
- the nuts
- all kinds of cereals
When birds come back from warm lands to a permanent habitat, their mating season begins. Males fighting for the right to fertilize the female. As a result of such fights, the winner is determined, as a result of which the pairing begins.
So choose a partner for life. In the future, this pair does not change, and if the drake is killed, the female remains alone until the end of days.
For one laying, a mandarin bird lays up to twelve eggs. A duck sits on eggs for four weeks. At this time, the whole family is engaged in the drake. He brings food twice a day.
From the very beginning of life, the chicks are very self-sufficient. Already on the thirtieth day, when they are covered with plumage, the chicks voluntarily jump out of the nest, which in very rare cases ends traumatic. Chicks start flying already with the fortieth day of life.
At the age of forty days, they go to the pond and learn to swim. Both parents teach them to swim and fly.
- There is a white mandarin duck. This is the result of the selection of scientists who are trying to bring new types of mandarin ducks. This species is very rare.
- The bird takes off almost vertically, flies very easily and maneuvers between the trees.
- This is the only duck in the world that does not interbreed with other members of its family, as it has a different set of chromosomes.
- Under domestic conditions, ducks of this breed may not sit on the eggs for a fixed period. In this case, it is required to place the eggs in the incubator or put them under a more experienced hen.
- In China, mandarin ducks are considered a symbol of loyalty in family life. They are often portrayed in the rooms where weddings are held. According to Feng Shui, the mandarin statuette placed in the house will bring family well-being to the house.
- Every year the mandarins nest in a new place.
- Mandarin is the only bird that squeaks, and does not quack, like all other members of the duck family.
Tangerines live an average of 10 years. In wild nature, unfortunately, they are exterminated by hunters who mistakenly confuse them with other species of ducks, because of their changing plumage in winter.
Their main enemies are raccoon dogs and birds of prey, which use early fall of chicks from the nest.
At home, you can extend the life of a mandarin to 25 years, provided a balanced diet and normal conditions of detention.
Breeding at home
In spite of exotic tangerine, its very easy to domesticate. Keeping a duck mandarin duck at home is very simple in summer. She has enough water in which she will swim with other birds, as well as to get closer to the wild conditions, it is desirable that there are trees around where the bird can nest or just sit.
After cold weather, when outdoors temperature is +5 and below ducks, it is necessary to arrange housing in the room. Water for swimming ducks need to be heated, as these ducks like to swim daily, including in winter.
Homemade tangerines feed on barley, corn, and wheat. In spring, tangerines are in need of vitamins, so you must add greens, dandelions and plantain to their normal diet.
Also in the autumn period, it is imperative to give the ducks their favorite delicacy in the wild - acorns.
At home ducks of this breed may not sit on eggs for a whole month, so gently have a hen in reserve that sat on eggs for a fixed period of time or artificial incubation will be required in the incubator. -that she is much more comfortable living in the wild.
Mandarin in the Red Book
These extraordinarily beautiful birds are listed in the Red Book and protected by law. Their population currently has only twenty-five thousand individuals. Hunting for these birds is prohibited. Perfectly supported by the population of these beautiful birds that they began to breed at home, menageries and zoos.
There is such a lot of duck, and requires certain conditions, such as, for example, poles or trees for nesting ducks, as well as feeding on acorns. But the one who runs the mandarin ducks in his yard is guaranteed a daily aesthetic pleasure from the contemplation of these extraordinarily beautiful, bright decorative birds.
These ducks perfectly adapted to life at home and with quality care and a balanced diet will delight their master for at least twenty years. Not for nothing that this breed of ducks is considered the most beautiful in the world.
Mandarin Duck: Description
They cannot boast with the large size of the duck, but even with a relatively small body, they can be seen from afar due to plumage. Amazingly beautiful mandarin duck, a description of this beauty is worthy of attention. The body of a bird is 40-50 cm long; it weighs less than one kilogram (500-700 g) in weight. Wingspan - 60-70 cm.
Males are real beauties with bright plumage, females on their background look very poor, their nature has painted in gray and brown tones. Maybe it was conceived by nature so that the duck could calmly hatch the ducklings, unnoticed by anyone, in their nest. Males are painted so beautifully and brightly in order to arouse sympathy in females.
Let's take a closer look at the “outfit” of “men” mandarins There are three types of long feathers on their heads, each species is painted in its own way: on the top there are red with violet-green edges, near the corners of the eyes are white, and near the beak there are red. But these are not all the colors that the male of amazing duck can boast. The bird's body is also painted with different colors: the top is black, the bottom is white, the chest is purple, and the sides are fawn with a mesh pattern. Paws and red beak.
Wings of birds deserve special attention, each one of them has one broad feather, something resembling a sail. These bird "sails" of red color with a blue edging.
Where lives in nature?
Where does mandarin duck meet in nature? The Red Book already has this species of birds on its pages, so there are not so many of them left in the natural environment. There are ducks in the Far East, in Europe you can meet fugitives who escaped from private possessions and settled down in the wild. Those birds that live in the south are considered settled, the northern inhabitants are migratory, they spend the winter in Japan and China.
Where does the mandarin duck prefer to be settled, where does this little miracle live? Their favorite places are the banks of forest rivers, on which a lot of trees grow, to this condition we must also add that these banks should be rocky.
How do mandarin ducks behave in their natural habitat?
Mandarin ducks live in pairs or alone, but after the chicks have been bred. On wintering get together in small flocks. These are very timid and cautious birds, very rarely you can hear their voice, like a quiet whistle.
Tangerines are waterfowl, but, like ordinary birds, they love to flit among the branches of trees. Due to their small size and weight, they freely and quickly jump along the branches. In flight, they feel light, fly up without a run-up, rising abruptly into the air with the help of strong flapping of wings. In the air can make sharp turns and other complex pirouettes. As for water procedures, the birds swim willingly, only diving without enthusiasm, doing this only when there is a danger.
What do they eat?
The mandarin duck is mostly a vegetarian, although it sometimes likes to be pampered with a frog or fish, small invertebrates can also get to dinner with bright birds.
As for the vegetable part of the bird menu, the favorite delicacy is acorns and nuts. Also in the diet includes berries, seeds and hard fruits of plants.
Mandarin Duck from February to March begins to choose his mate pair. Marriage period is not without courtship! During toking, boasting of males with their beautiful plumage is the highest argument for the female. Trying to appear before the chosen one in the best light, the mandarin-males swim around the females in circles, showing their color of all the colors of the rainbow. Often they swim, tilting their heads, so that the beak is half hidden in the water. Monogamy reigns in this bird species, couples are created, but next year there will again be new courtship and new partners, loyalty between the “spouses” lasts only one season.
Divided into families, the birds pick up a nest. Having settled in the hollow, the female begins to lay eggs, usually in one clutch there are from 8 to 15 eggs. Hatching lasts 30 days, the male and female take turns sitting on the eggs.
Chicks are born covered with gray fluff and fully developed. An interesting fact is that the kids immediately leave the hollow and follow their mommy. How is this possible at such a height? Everything turns out to be very simple - the chicks are light, they jump out of the nest and plan through the air, like parachutists, safely landing on the ground.
The duck mother leads her cubs to the pond; in a month and a half, the little ducklings can fly. Dad, believing that his duty is fulfilled, leaves the family. At this time, males and females are separated, "women" raise their babies, and "men" gather in flocks for a molt period. Probably, they do not want their ladies to see their gentlemen in an unattractive form during a change of plumage.
Unfortunately, among the hatched chicks, the mortality rate is too high, because so many dangers lurk until they can fly. Natural enemies of mandarins: fox, raccoon, raccoon dog, birds of prey. You can add protein to this list. These red fluffy very often ruin duck nests. Parents can not always protect their brood.
Mandarin Duck: Red Book
Mandarin ducks need protection and protection of man, this rare species is listed in the Red Book, hunting for these magic birds is prohibited!
I am glad that the numbers of this species of birds are at a high level, but only due to the fact that they feel great in captivity, they are easily tamed. People gladly give birth to such beauties at home. In addition, the birds are very prolific and breed well.
Due to the multicolored beautiful plumage, this type of ducks is considered one of the most fashionable in decorative poultry farming. Селекционеры своей кропотливой работой добились появления на свет новой формы – это белая утка-мандаринка. Чисто белых красавцев, правда, еще слишком мало.
Утка мандаринка — интересные факты о внешности. Благодаря яркому и необычному оперенью этот вид уток считается самым красивым среди семейства утиных. Самец намного ярче, нежели самка. По размеру утка мандаринка сравнительно небольшая и в весе не достигает и одного килограмма (500-800 г), а в длину она имеет около 40 сантиметров. Due to the fact that the wingspan is large enough for a small bird and reaches 70 centimeters, the last wing feathers of the wings in the folded state are picturesquely bent upwards, protruding above the back on both sides.
The beak at the drake is red, and the legs are yellow. Plumage absorbed all the colors of the rainbow: yellow, purple, blue, orange, red. The male has a crest on his head. The ends of its wings in folded form are raised upwards, creating a peculiar saddle.
The female mandarin ducks do not have such colorful plumage, but they are beautiful in their own way. Their heads are also decorated with an elegant tuft, they have a belly white, the same color summed up and eyes, all their plumage varies from gray to brownish shades. Such their unremarkable appearance helps to mask during the breeding season.
The inconspicuous color of the female helps it to merge with the surrounding nature and makes it invisible to predators during the incubation of chicks. But the dull plumage is compensated by the grace and clear lines of the silhouette. There is a white mandarin, which was bred by breeders.
The life span of mandarin ducks can reach 10 years. At home, with proper care, can live up to 25 years.
Features mandarin ducks:
- colorful plumage
- special singing (ducks of this species do not quack, but whine or make sounds like whistles),
- maneuverable and fast flight.
Together with the American Caroline duck, the mandarin duck constitutes a genus of forest ducks. Birds settle in the forests on the rocky banks of rivers. Like other ducks, the mandarin duck keeps well on the water, if necessary, it flies up almost vertically, almost without a run. But unlike ducks of other species, mandarins spend a lot of time in coastal forests, easily maneuvering among the trees, sitting on the branches, trunks of windbreak, coastal rocks.
Mandarin - the birds are silent and cautious. They rarely give a voice; sometimes they make sounds that sound like a quiet, melodious whistle.
Birds are also called dowels due to the fact that their nests are located in the hollows of trees, often at an altitude of more than 10 meters. The hollow is used by the family only once and every year a new duck. The male takes care of the female while hatching eggs. On average, the female lays 9 eggs. To chicks hatch at the same time, the mandarin duck sits in the nest after laying all the eggs.
In about a month, downy, sighted chicks appear. The female flies out of the nest to the ground and calls them. Barely dried chicks leave the nest and due to their low weight with the help of their webbed feet reach the ground unharmed. The female collects the brood and leads to the reservoir, and the male leaves the family.
In June, the drakes gather in a flock, hiding in the thickets. They begin to moult. The bright color is replaced by the plumage of such color as that of ordinary ducks.
Feeding ducks are found in the forest and in the water. Food can be greens and fruits of plants - seeds, berries, nuts, acorns. Small fish, caviar of fish and frogs, insect larvae, mollusks are extracted from the water.
In Russia, the bird is protected by law and is listed in the Red Book. Tangerine's natural enemies are birds of prey and rodents, which destroy nests and attack young animals. In the wild, the reduction in the number of mandarins is due to deforestation, unauthorized hunting.
Mandarin ducks are quite interesting and unusual birds, ranging from their feathers, ending with their behavior and lifestyle. What is interesting duck mandarin duck?
- Every year the duck builds nests in new places.
- Their ability to lift into the air vertically helps to avoid obstacles such as tree branches.
- The name of the mandarin is not only representative of the duck family, but also aquarium fish, which lives in the natural environment in freshwater bodies of China.
- The number of eggs depends on the age of the duck: the younger the female, the smaller the number of eggs able to lay.
- There are about 500 thousand ducks of this species on our planet.
- Ducks shed their plumage twice a year. In June, when molting begins, their feathers lose their bright color, and they become similar to ordinary ducks.
The content of birds in captivity
Mandarin oranges are very popular as decorative birds. Tangerines breed well in captivity. They are unpretentious in food, peacefully coexist with other birds, multiply well, are good parents. For healthy development and reproduction, they need conditions close to the natural, with a pond, hollows, tall trees or columns.
Ducks are thermophilic, so in cold time they need warm rooms with good bedding and a pond with heated water for heating.
The best food for tangerines - a special feed for waterfowl with the addition of herbs, vegetables and root crops.
We must try to have more birds at will, because it is there that they are truly happy. In the wild, although it is difficult for them to get food, they can fly, and this makes them healthier and brings joy that cannot be compared with the well-fed but lazy life of the owner.
Why is the mandarin duck so called?
The name of the birds is associated with the bright color of the males. Similar bright dresses were worn by Chinese noble officials - tangerines. The duck lives in China, Japan, Korea, in the Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories, in the Amur Region and on Sakhalin. By winter, birds living in the northern regions fly to the south of Japan and China.
Tangerine small birds size about 50 cm, weight up to 800 grams. The wingspan is about 60 cm. They live in small flocks. The plumage of males is bright. The color of the female is more modest than the gray-olive shades; there is a tuft on the head and a white abdomen. The size and weight of the male and female are almost the same. Ducks fly well and dive, move quickly over land. It takes off from the ground vertically. The voice is not like a duck quack. Ducks emit a kind of whistle, sometimes similar to a squeak. In nature, ducks live for a short time not exceeding 6 years, they often become prey to predators.
What eats and where does a mandarin duck live?
Ducks feed on plant foods, seeds, cereals, fish, crustaceans, frogs, worms, and mollusks. From the south ducks return in early spring. They nest from April to June in tall trees near water bodies, build nests in hollows, prefer quiet and safe places covered with trees, bushes and windbreaks. The female lays from 6 to 14 eggs. Hatching lasts 30-32 days. The female does not leave the clutch; the male extracts her food. Both parents take care of the chicks. Feeding lasts 35-45 days. Chicks are able to fly after 40 days of life. Grown up chicks go with the female to the pond to look for food. Little ducklings often become food for birds of prey and raccoon dogs.
Mandarin at home
Tangerines are bred as a decorative breed at home to find a duck is not easy, and it is very expensive. In summer, ducks do not need any special conditions, they get along well with other poultry. With the approach of cold weather ducks can stay outdoors. In winter, they need a warm cage, soft bedding made of straw, and a heated swimming pool for daily swimming.
At home, the female may refuse to hatch the laid eggs and then give them to another hen. Ducks need cereals, plants, vegetable bold, protein food, insects, cereals, bran, acorns. Before breeding fish and meat products are added to the feed. In captivity ducks can live up to 10-12 years.