Mandarin Duck

Aix galericulata

  1. Wildlife
  2. Birds
  3. Waterfowl
  4. Mandarin Duck


The beautiful Mandarin Duck was introduced from the Far East, where it can still be found in China, Japan, Korea and parts of Russia. It escaped, or was deliberately released, from captivity. Mandarin Ducks are actually quite shy birds, often hiding beneath overhanging willows and usually only forming small flocks.

How to identify

A beautiful, unmistakable duck, male Mandarins have elaborate plumage with orange plumes on their cheeks, orange 'sails' on their back and pale orange sides. The female of this little duck is dull in comparison, with a grey head, brown back and white eye-stripe.

Where to find it

Introduced from China and now found on park lakes and other wetlands with overhanging trees, mainly in South East England but also in the rest of England, Wales and Scotland.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

Although the UK population of the mandarin duck is introduced, this could act as a valuable 'reservoir' in the future. Local Wildlife Trusts work hard to protect and manage the wetland habitats that our waterbirds need to survive; by volunteering you can help too, and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.

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Species information

Common name
Mandarin Duck
Latin name
Aix galericulata
Length: 45cm Wingspan: 71cm Weight: 520-630g
Conservation status
Introduced species.