Showing posts with label Aix galericulata.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aix galericulata.. Show all posts

Monday, October 15, 2012

The most beautiful bird in the world: The Mandarin Duck.


For its small size, you would make an entry beginning with a phrase ironic about the story of "The Ugly Duckling". But hey, the literature is not my specialty. What I like, is to appreciate the wonderful things created nature, and unlike the Marabou bird that is considered the most "ugly" in the world, the Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) the bird is considered "beautiful" in the world.

During the breeding season, the male Mandarin duck loses its brown like the female and looks fascinating and endless color shades in between: The male bird is unmistakable: It has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and "whiskers". The breast is purple with two vertical white bars, and the flanks ruddy, with two orange "sails" at the back. The female is similar to female Wood Duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye, but is paler below, has a small white flank stripe, and a pale tip to its bill.

The beauty of these ducks was originally its curse and then its jacket. For hundreds of years, this bird was considered as a bird that attracting luck and love. And their presence was much coveted by courtesans of Japan and China and collectors from around the world. Currently, some 65,000 live in the wild, several more in zoos and parks all over the world. Its beauty, its colors, have been since the identity and the argument for its protection and recovery. Now, there is no danger of extinction.


The mandarin duck does not exceed 45 cm (17") in length, is small and sturdy, weighing no more than 1,1 lb (500 grams) and feeds on algae and seeds. In winter they are clustered in small groups and as spring approaches the female chooses the male more attractive and colorful to have their "ugly ducklings".