Say hello to the latest arrivals at the Animal Sanctuary. Seven little mandarin ducks. Keeping track of the names is quite the task. We have in no particular order, Duck Norris, Quackie Chan, Quack Sparrow, Duckleberry Finn, Daisy Duck, Puddles and Peekaboo.
They needed a new home and we scrambled round to accomodate them all. They’ve settled down really well and made themselves quite at home.
Mandarin ducks are orginally found in East Asia and are perching ducks. They are quite small at around 16 to 20 inches long with a wingspan of up to 30 inches. The adult male is very handsome with beautiful colours. It has a red bill with a large white crescent above the eyes. The breast is purple with two vertical bars and two orange sails at the back. Mandarin ducks are monogamous and one couple mates throughout their entire life. They are considered a symbol of fidelity and great love in China and Korea because of this.
In the wild, mandarin ducks breed in woodlands near water. They build nests in the cavities of trees close to water. Females lay their eggs in the tree after mating and can produce up to a dozen eggs. The male sticks around to defend and help his mate but does not undertake incubation duties. When the ducklings hatch, the female flies to the ground and coaxes the ducklings to leap from the nest. Once they are all out of the tree, they follow their mother to water for their first swim.
A quick temporary swimming pool was setup and they all jumped for a splash about. We are setting up a new more permanent enclosure for them and we’ll be sure to bring you more pictures and updates soon. If you are coming down to the Sanctuary, make sure to say hello to the gang.