Considered by most as the most ornamental of the
world's ducks, the Mandarin Duck is a very popular
aviary bird and commonly seen in many collections.
They are closely related to the North American Wood
Duck and both species are the only members of the
genus. Despite the close relationship, there have been
only a few reports of hybridization, but none have
ever been documented or proven.
Apricot Mandarins are NOT Hybrids, they are in fact
a Mutation which occurs naturally in the wild. The
reason it is not seen often is that these lighter
colored birds are often preyed upon because of their
light color which makes them stand out.
The drake is one of world's most beautiful ducks
and quite unlike any other species. The forehead is
apricot in color and the iridescent colors are missing
in the crest at the back of the head; the sides
of the head are white with apricot in front of the
eyes. The sides of the neck and the cheeks have
elongated apricot feathers that form a mane; the
upper breast is apricot and a little maroon
showing, while the lower breast and
belly are white. The sides and flanks are buff,
finely penciled with black. The most unique features
are the wing sails, which are bright orange feathers
that stand straight up off his inner wings, however
they the black lines on the top of the sails is
replaced with white. The hen
greatly resembles an apricot wood duck hen. She is a
lighter apricot and
has a smaller crest and eye ring.