The Most Ornate Waterfowl in the World
John James Audobon himself called the Mandarin Duck the "most ornate waterfowl of the world, if not of all birds." The Mandarin's natural habitat is South and Eastern China as well as throughout Japan. It has been introduced throughout the United Kingdom. The Mandarin is found in ancient Chinese and Japanese art. In an old Chinese and Japanese tradition, a pair of Mandarins would be released at weddings, symbolizing everlasting fidelity since the Mandarins pair for life.
Unfortunately for the Mandarin Duck, deforestation, urbanization, and natural disasters in their native lands have caused its numbers to decline in the wild. However, the Red List lists the Mandarin Duck as "LC" or "Least Concern" due to it's numbers in captivity, even though they note that the Mandarin's wild numbers are on the decline. We professionally disagree with this assessment. Although we don't feel the Mandarin is as threatened as the Green Pheasant or the Golden Pheasant, we feel they should at least be considered "Near Threatened (NT)" since recent wars and Avian Flu outbreaks have occurred. When you also consider that their native area is near hostile territory and has also been struck with major natural disasters, including a nuclear plant meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi, then one could only wonder how many numbers of Mandarin have perished recently. This also begs the question: "How many Mandarins have become radioactive through nuclear exposure?"
To help the species, we at Überchic Ranch have procured a diverse gene pool so that the best quality Mandarin Ducks are being bred under our care. All you need now is to build a pond, complete with a waterfall, to find a little piece of Heaven on Earth with the Mandarins.
The Mandarin Duck does well in harsh Winter climates due to naturally being from snowy mountainous regions. The Mandarin Duck also copes well in smaller enclosures and aviaries.
Calm and Inquisitive Demeanor
The Mandarin Duck may be timid at first, but would eventually be interested in you once they know you give treats. They aren't as wild or aggressive as other species of waterfowl.
If the Mandarin Duck has enough space requirements and is placed with other community birds, you will find a peaceful aviary.