Friday, November 29, 2013

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)

Mandarin Duck with Other Species of Ducks
Today instead of going shopping on Black Friday, we went up to Boston to stop at Leverett Pond, which is part of Olmsted Park which in turn is part of the Emerald Necklace. The Emerald Necklace was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted to connect the Boston Common and the Public Garden to Franklin Park.

The reason to visit Leverett Pond was to locate, identify and photograph the Mandarin Duck. The Mandarin Duck is an East Asian perching duck and is related to our Wood Duck. The American birding Association does not count the Mandarin Duck as a countable species, since the thought is that most of the ones that have been found in the United States are released or escaped specimens. The Mandarin Duck just like the Wood Duck nest in cavities in a tree near bodies of water and after the ducklings hatch, they are coaxed to the ground by the mother and taken to the nearest body of water.

A Mandarin Duck has been found in Leverett Pond, where it is been hanging out with a large flock of Wood Ducks. They are located on the side of an island in the pond and recently with the cold weather they been found closer to the shore due to the ice. However, due to our heavy rain and warm weather earlier in the week, the ice today was all gone and it was a long distance photo opportunity. The Mandarin Duck spent most the time sitting on branches or on the shore of the island, sometimes swimming along the side of the island.
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Besides Mallards, Black Ducks, and Canada Geese there was also one Ruddy Duck. A Great Blue Heron also paid a visit to the island.
Wood Duck

Great Blue Heron

Ruddy Duck


If you have never seen a Mandarin Duck, this is a great location to observe it.