This is a medium-sized East Asian perching duck closely related to the North American Wood Duck. The adult is a strikingly beautiful bird with a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and "whiskers". It has a purple breast with two vertical white bars and the flanks ruddy with two orange "sails" at the back. The female is somewhat duller, obviously, with a white eye ring with a stripe running back from the eye. It is paler below with a small white flank stripe and a pale tip to its bill. The species was once widespread in eastern Asia but widespread exports and destruction of its forest habitat have reduced populations in eastern Russia and China and there are less than 1000 pairs in each country although Japan is said to have 5000 pairs. Let's hope they don't get a taste for crispy Mandarin Duck dishes!!!
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Photo taken in Mautby, Norfolk, UK
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