Mandarin Ducks in Park Sanssouci

Nicknamed “the world’s most beautiful duck,” the Mandarin is native to the Far East. This migratory bird inhabits areas of Japan, South Korea, eastern Siberia and China. Mandarin Ducks can now also be found in other regions including Britain, Ireland, the United States and Germany. This increase in range of habitat was a result of ducks escaping from captivity and migrating to other suitable areas. Large numbers of Mandarin have managed to successfully thrive in areas such as Park Sanssouci, located in Germany. Small wooded ponds, marshes, fast flowing streams and swamps surrounded by dense forest are their preferred habitat. Mandarin Ducks avoid lakes and large bodies of open water. Their diet consists of seeds, acorns, nuts, aquatic plants, insects, small fish and snails, with feeding taking place at dusk or dawn. Being incredibly agile fliers, these birds can maneuver and fly through forests with precision and accuracy. Mating pairs form at the start of the breeding season, usually in April. Courtship displays are an intricate process and include shaking and mock-drinking. Some mating pairs will continue for several seasons. The females build their nests in holes inside of trees. Females lay 9 to 12 oval eggs, with the incubation period lasting anywhere from 28 to 30 days. Eggs hatch within several hours of each other.