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Apricot Mandarin Duck




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.



Like the wood duck, Mandarins require nesting boxes to nest in. The breeding season begins in late April when the hen begins to lay her clutch of 8 to 12 eggs that are incubated for about 28 days. The hens are good mothers and will raise her own young if you allow her to. The ducklings grow quickly and are able to fly at 8 weeks. They are able to breed the first year, but fertility is best during the second year.


General Comments:

The Apricot Mandarin is not common in the U.S. but there are a handful that do have them in their collections. They are very common in European countries, but to the import bans, there is no importing of these birds. So we'll have to wait until this beautiful mutation occurs here in the U.S.

The Mandarin is an excellent bird for the beginner.  They do well in most aviaries, as they very well with most other birds. However, over crowding will lead to bickering between the males for territory.


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Pair Mandarin Drakes Apricot Drake in the foreground and normal in the background

Apricot Mandarin Hen

Apricot Mandarin Ducklings

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