Monday, April 22, 2013

Mandarin Ducks

Yesterday (Sunday) I went for a walk to our Museum Park and also around the little lake below which is a Bird Sanctuary.

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I was especially excited today to catch sight of this lovely couple of Mandarins:

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The Mandarin is an East Asian duck. They were imported to parks in Europe and some feral colonies can now also be found.  In our sanctuary lake today I found them in the open part of it, so I take it they are free to come and go if they like. But it’s probably a good place for them to stay!

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I’ve never come so close to them before that I’ve been able to zoom them in… But today I was!

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This fellow – a Wood Duck I think – also turned up, but was chased away by the Mandarin drake… I think the Mandarin was a bit protective of his female companion and did not want any competition!

The Wood Duck comes from North America but is closely related to the Mandarin Duck.

Mandarin Ducks are referred to by the Chinese as Yuan-yang, where yuan () and yang () respectively stand for male and female Mandarin Ducks. In traditional Chinese culture, Mandarin Ducks are believed to be lifelong couples, unlike other species of ducks. Hence they are regarded as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity, and are frequently featured in Chinese art.  --- The Mandarin Duck symbol is also used in Chinese weddings because in traditional Chinese lore, they symbolize wedded bliss and fidelity.

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“Hey, I think you’ve got enough pictures now! Bye!”

PS. After I’d already posted this, I happened to come across a meme called Mandarin Monday… I just can’t resist linking up!

10 comments:

  1. they are so pretty and my favorite is the 4th up from the bottom. happy spring

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  2. Mr. and Mrs. Mandarin make a dapper couple, don't they!

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  3. Monica, you have done a superb job here! Lots of awesome pictures in different poses. And the first thing I thought was how much they look like the wood ducks, so what a nice surprise to see they are related. These are fancier than the wood ducks though. Kind of like wood ducks that have gotten their hair and makeup done. I love the shot of the duck looking back, it looks like a huge drawing or a big jumble of paint. You even got some good reflections!

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    1. Ginny, it "made my day" (which was already pretty good) when I caught sight of these birds on my way back from the park, and was able to zoom them in. I was far enough away for them not to be bothered by me. The male Mandarin was pruning himself all the time, while the female was playing it cool... ;)

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  4. Just GORGEOUS! *YUP i had to link up too! Glad i did; your photography and capturing these ducks is so awesome! Come join me on TREK!

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  5. What gorgeous shots. And I had no idea they were referred to as yin and yang!

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  6. What a lovely set of photos. I think Mandarins are a species that tends not to roam. So once they find a place that suits them they settle down there and stay. When introduced to park lakes - if they are happy with the lake - they settle in quite quickly and will nest there year after year.

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  7. Wow, those are some lovely close-up photos of the mandarin ducks.....lucky you.
    It was nice to learn all about them as well.

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  8. What a happy coincidence! Glad you found me Dawn. And as for those ducks - they are amazing! So unusual - some of them are like an abstract artwork in themselves - with all those bright colours and patterns. A friend of had a pair of pet Mandarin Ducks - she was so sad when she had to move away from the harbour - but she found a good home for them with a big lake.
    Thank you for being part of Mandarin Orange Monday - and my apologies for being so late with my visit.

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