Mandarin Ducks River Dodder
The mandarin, widely regarded as the world’s most beautiful duck, is a native of China and Japan.
The drake mandarin’s stunning plumage has long made it an artist’s favourite, and it is widely depicted in oriental art.
The first mandarins were imported to Britain in the mid-18th century, but it wasn’t until the 1930s that escapes from wildfowl collections started breeding here.
The first birds to escape did so from Alfred Ezra’s collection at Foxwarren Park, near Cobham in Surrey, and this area remains one of the strongholds of mandarins in England.
Mandarins favour small wooded ponds and avoid lakes or large bodies of open water.
They are extremely manoeuvrable fliers, able to fly through trees with remarkable agility.
They frequently perch in trees, while the female invariably chooses a hole or cavity in a tree trunk in which to lay her eggs.