What was your Gateway Bird?

Was this your ‘gateway' bird'? The Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata is our bird of the month for September. Well any month really, for it has introduced many to the diverse and colourful world of wild waterfowl. The native range of the Mandarin is SE Siberia, Korea, E China and Japan. Particularly in the latter, they can still be seen in village streams and on temple ponds. They symbolise love and fidelity. Whilst the duck is sitting, the drake often stands by, appearing to be on guard. In reality, the pair bond only lasts until the end of incubation, or rarely, early brood-rearing. The female rears the young alone.

Mandarin drakes sitting pretty
Mandarin Drakes — Morag Jones