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.
Black 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
dark colored birds are not often noticed because of their
dark coloration therefore making them like likely noticeable.
The drake while not as beautiful ducks and quite unlike any other
species, has it's own appeal. The forehead is glossy
greenish-black that turns to purple as it slopes to a
crest at the back of the head; the sides of the head
are white with chestnut in front of the eyes. The
sides of the neck and the cheeks have elongated
chestnut feathers that form a mane; the upper breast
is lacking the maroon, while the lower breast and
belly are rust brown. The sides and flanks are brown,
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. The hen
greatly resembles a wood duck hen. She is dark gray,
almost charcoal and has a smaller crest and eye ring..