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This Rare Duck That Made New York’s Central Park Pond Its Home For Weeks Became Instant Celebrity



The male mandarin duck is one of the world’s most beautiful ducks. Its mysterious arrival at the Central Park in New York on October 10 made a buzz since this bird species can only be found in East Asia.

After bird-watcher David Barrett posted photos of the rare duck in his twitter account Manhattan Bird Alert, hundreds of bird and photo enthusiasts, Instagrammers, tourists, bird-watchers, students, and New Yorkers flocked to the southeast corner of the park to catch a glimpse of this beautiful duck.

Aside from its multi-colored feathers and beautiful appearance, people wanted to see the bird because it’s not something that they get to see every day. It’s not a native in their place nor in their wild either.

Mandarin duck with another duck in Central Park

Photo Credit

Central Park takes pride in the beauty of its resident wood ducks. But since this breathtaking bird arrived, it redefined the meaning of beauty to a higher level.

How this duck arrived in the park is still a question that can only be answered by mere speculations. According to Barret, it might have come from the neighboring zoo. It could also be a domestic duck that might have escaped from its owner or its owner might have wanted to get rid of it and placed it intentionally at the pond. The city bans having ducks as pets.

However, on November 7, reports about the duck being missing from the park has gone viral. Because of the Central Park mandarin duck mania, many expressed how it broke their hearts since they consider it as the most beautiful thing that ever happened to them in 2018.

Dave Barrett tried to pacify the hurting public by saying its disappearance shouldn’t be a cause for concern because ducks fly. It might be around somewhere or it might have flown to a place that’s warmer than New York. Besides, ducks migrate seasonally.

This story shows just how powerful the beauty of creation is. It touches our souls in ways we can’t explain. We can only take a glimpse of it and admire it from afar if we are to allow it to live its own life.

Mandarin ducks are a true beauty to behold. These short interesting facts will give us a glimpse of what makes mandarin ducks special than the other birds:

  • Compared to its female counterparts, the male mandarin ducks are more colorful. They have a red bill, purple breast, a crest of black, green, blue and copper and golden orange wings. The females have gray or cream-colored feathers and a bill that matches it.
  • During summers, male shed their feathers and they resemble the females. They only differ in their bills. Male retain their red bill.
  • They are natives to East Asia, specifically China, Japan, Korea, and Eastern Russia.
  • They manage to thrive in countries where they are imported to, like England in the mid-18th century and now in the US.
  • These ducks are symbols of love and fidelity in China, Japan, and Korea.
  • They favor smaller ponds compare to larger bodies of water.
  • They are extremely agile flyers.
  • They pair only on one season and form new pairs in the next.
  • They form close relationships with wood ducks but don’t crossbreed with them.

The above facts might shed light on how and why the Central Park appears to be an inviting place for the stunning mandarin duck visitor. Nevertheless, its presence might be short, but it gave New Yorkers the gift of seeing nature’s spectacular creation at its best, one that rarely happens.

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