Mandarinka duck (lat. AIX Galericulata) a bird of relatively small sizes, belongs to the family of duck and the genus of forest ducks. The name was obtained due to its motley orange color and spherical shape.
According to many people, it is the duck Mandarinka that occupies a leading place among all representatives of the family of duck in beauty. A rare color, an unusual body shape and bewitching grace all these are qualities that are not inherent in other ducks, except for this. The name takes the roots from the culture of ancient China, in which all the rich were called tangerines. During the marriage period, the selescents acquire a color that captivates everyone who looks at the bird, but, unfortunately, such a sight can only be seen twice a year. In the usual period, the plumage does not stand out, and the male is no different from the female, which can hardly be called the other ducks that is released against the background.
The entire color of the feathers consists of a beautiful combination of many colors: a kind of feathery collar that is located on the head and has an iridescent orange color with white glimpses, wings bending up and having a fairly wide shape with copper color; a crest located on his head and flowing from green into orange. Also, on the body you can notice many shades of blue and even purple colors.
The color of the paws is yellow, and the beak of the duck mandarin is pinkish red. The female compared to the male during the marriage period looks inconspicuous, as if it does not belong to this species at all: white spots on the sides of the body and on the chest, smoky coloring gray and the same beak. The weight of females on average varies from 400 grams to a kilogram, males are a little thicker. The length of the wings is 2-2.5 centimeters, which is very small when compared with other representatives of the family.
In short, duck mandarinka can be described only in two words small and maneuverable. Despite the size of the wings, both sexes fly to long distances without any problems and can develop high speed, while the bird is not inferior to water species in swimming skills, and can also cling to the bark of trees well, which is facilitated by the presence of sharp claws on the paws. Usually settle near rivers and mountains, since there is the most favorable climate for them. They try to build nests away from people, but do not exclude the possibility of adjacent to reasonable creatures, provided that they will not make noise and hunt them. Since there are often many fallen trees near the mountains, the nest of ducks is well protected from the wind and other climatic troubles. Another important difference from other members of the family can be noted that for greater warmth, tangerines sacrifice their fluff and spread it around the entire perimeter of the nest, and sometimes even behind its territory. As a result, when the wedding season comes, the dwelling of the bird is more like a rainbow circle than a straw building.
Regardless of the height at which ducks prefer to live, they go down to the ground without any problems and move along it as quickly as in the air or in water. In addition, this ability is inherent not only to young and adult individuals, but also by very young cubs who, a month after hatching, begin to move calmly and feel great on the earth, water or airspace. The habitat of the pair is changed everywhere, since the food has the ability to end, and the nest is very wear out during operation, so it is simply pointless to rebuild it in the same place, because it is much easier to build a new one in a more favorable environment.
Throughout life, tangerines can have only one partner, since these are polygamous birds and they are very true to their choice. Regardless of the space in which the ducks are currently located, they move in pairs and never separate from each other. Also, they help each other in searching for food or cleaning feathers from excessive dirt. Many Chinese believe that in the event of the death of one of the family members, another bird also dies, but scientists have not yet been able to justify this fact, as well as deny it. But even without this, it is problematic to find so strong fidelity and strong love even among people.
Where they live
This bird received the most widespread throughout East Asia, but the largest number of settlement of China. If we take Russia, then it can be found in Primorye, on Sakhalin and in Khabarovsk.
The ducks are carried out in winter in nonsnowy areas of Japan and near China. The main natural habitat can be called forests near rivers, and their density does not affect the number of inhabitants. Often they are found in the foothill areas, where the valleys are formed thanks to the rivers flowing in them. Mandarinki do not avoid people and without any problems can choose a roadside lane or a sown field as a place of residence.
What they eat
Since the main habitat are considered lakes, rivers and other reservoirs, it is quite obvious that representatives of this species use more water vegetation for a greater extent. Worms, mollusks, small frogs and various snails often appear from the living creatures in their diet. As one of the features of nutrition, one can highlight the love of eating acorns. They contain a huge number of useful and necessary trace elements, vitamins and other beneficial substances. In addition, thanks to the skills of turning around the trees and a great flight, birds without any problems break off just ripened fruits from trees.
Seeds and cereals can often be consumed, a small amount of which grows in their habitats. Sometimes they deliberately look for fields where rice or buckwheat grows. If you decide to grow ducks at home, then you should take a closer look at the corn, bran, oatmeal or barley, which birds rush out for both cheeks. In the wild, as in captivity, they often break small shreds of grass and eat to compensate for the lack of vitamins.
Unlike most other ducks, these birds deny any possible connections with other species and try to avoid them. This is facilitated by a special pair of chromosomes, which is inherent only to tangerines and scientists still cannot understand what this is specifically connected with. In some laboratories, with the help of experiments, they tried to create a hybrid, but everything was unsuccessfully and the chick was no different from the Chinese bird, regardless of who it was mating with it. The only difference that were able to notice during observations is a larger number of white wings, and the rest of the cubs are the same as purebred individuals.
The search for a partner begins in March when the snow only descends. Seelnes put on their marriage color, thanks to which the appearance received its name and is considered the most beautiful of all. In attempts to win the attention of the “bride”, the male can arrange various dances and other rites, showing his superiority over other applicants with all his might. The competition between the males is more reminiscent of the race and a demonstration of feathers, as if they say to the female: “Choose the brightest”. But the choice of female individuals is unchanged, so those who are unlucky fly away away.
As soon as the male and the female found each other, they unite in a couple and become inseparable throughout their lives. Moreover, the responsibility for finding food, for raising chicks and other duties lie on both members of the couple, each of which helps his partner in all his endeavors. When the female hatches eggs, it is quite logical that she cannot get food, so the male does not throw it and collects food for her, including. The color of the shell of the eggs is pastel, closer to beige, so even the eggs of this species look beautiful. A month later, already formed chicks are breaking through, which stand out with their curiosity and immediately begin to study the world around them. Membranes located on the paws immediately at birth do not allow to break or injure even when falling from a sufficiently high height, so parents may not be afraid for the health of their cubs who know the environment. In addition, even though wings even in adults are very small, they allow the chicks to plan and not break.
In the morning and in the evening, the mother with the Selezem takes their kids for a kind of walk, during which they teach them to swim, fly and dive. Two months after birth, very young birds are able to independently get food, fly and swim. Until this moment, parents strictly forbid them to leave the nest alone, so at the slightest danger they hide in the bushes and trees.
If females like to hatch their offspring in the wild, then in captivity they become more closed and already cease to be caring hen. For this case, incubators purchase in enclosures in which eggs are formed and chicks hatch from them. Despite the mind of babies at birth, they are afraid to move away from their mother for a rather long period of time, so separating them from the female is an overwhelming task.
In captivity, many breeders are faced with a problem: ducks experience great stress when they are limited at the habitat and follow them. That is why tangerines suffer and can die even from severe fright. But closing all the aviary and leaving the form to exist in the wild, poachers and predators will soon destroy the whole family.
Red Book and Population
Poachers and predators are not the only reason why the population of this species is declining. In principle, all agricultural activity of man harms Flora and Fauna, ducks of tangerines were no exception to the rules. Cutting out forest belts, fishermen who can accidentally hook the bird instead of fish, inadequate tourists, scary animals in the district. In addition, a huge amount of moths that appeared in connection with the propagation of agricultural crops on an industrial scale also interferes with normal life to rare birds. Predators, for example, owls or raccoon dogs, destroy nests and entire colonies. Yes, and hunters who in winter come to the destruction of other species, by absurd accident, kill tangerines, because in winter the color of representatives of this family is completely no different from other counterparts.
At the moment, this species is listed in the Red Book of Eurasia.
At the moment, in most countries of the world, hunting or other attempts to destroy the duck mandarinka are strictly prohibited by law. In Eurasia, for example, the state with all its might protects views from the Red Book, which just includes this family. Near Primorye, lives in the region of thirty thousand individuals, for which it would simply be impossible to keep track of. But there are allocated special reserved zones in which all representatives of the family live, so that the poachers do not have a chance to get into the territory. This is a Ussuri reserve, cedar pad, as well as several other special zones.
The total number of individuals in the world is approximately 65 thousand, but according to statistics in each country there are slightly more:
The national assessment of China has 10 thousand pairs, and in Taiwani or Japan about a hundred thousand.
Due to past attempts by a person to destroy the bird, in many states, artificial excretion of tangerines began, after which hybrids were released by the will, and they continued to do offspring, in which, by the way, hybrid individuals did not differ from purebred in any way. In India, Nepal or Vietnam, there are also several protected habitats, but the birds are not divorced on the territory of these countries, but only wait for the winter.
Due to its beauty and grace, in many zoos of the world there are at least one or two pairs, since in the Chinese culture it is the duck of the tangerine that is a symbol of long and strong love. Some people who are able to provide a good life and know how to take care of a bird breed it at home, and the offspring is no worse than the reserves. The longstanding proximity of birds to people contributes to good development in captivity.
Regardless of how well or poorly swims, the duck flies and runs, due to its size and physical weakness, it can become a treat for a large number of insatiable predators. But due to the specifics of the place of residence, large-sized aggressive animals are not found near, but the nests are ruined by small rodents that can climb into the hollow of wood or to the mountain. It can be a protein that often steals a couple of mandarin eggs, or otter, to some extent dominant in the territory of reservoirs. In addition, the latter is a threat not only for offspring, but also for young individuals, which, although they fly quickly, are still weak, so they can not even contrast anything even the biggest predator.
In the wild, there are many small predators, for example, ferrets, foxes and other members of their family, as well as martens of various types. All of them are common for the most part of the world, so they can hunt and eat ducks that will be met in their path without any problems.
But still, the most dangerous and cruel enemy is undoubtedly a person, and to be precise, then poachers. These people, who can hardly be called so, destroy entire families for the purpose of profit. If earlier the birds were hunted due to meat, which was not enough, but there was no much effort to catch, now the main goal of the Zhizhiders is to get bright feathers, which are very expensive in the black market. When the individual was killed, they make a scarecrow from it and sell exotic lovers, collecting a collection from real carcasses of rare animals. Another reason for the destruction is the external similarity of females or males outside the marriage robe with other representatives of the family, for example, dives. Hunters often arrange races, shooting at wild ducks, but they have no idea that among them one of the most beautiful, as well as rather rare species can be hidden.
- The meat of tangerines ducks has an unpleasant taste, so they do not eat it and carcasses only to create stuffed animals. Jewelry or other accessories are also made from bird feathers, and the rest of the body is thrown away as unnecessary or fed pets. Disgusting taste also helps to reduce views of appearance, since often people kill animals for food for food.
- One of the skills of this type, unlike others, is the ability to take off vertically upwards. It looks amazing, it seems that no physics laws are acting on them, and they, of their own free will, turn off the power of attraction, freely flying away into the distance.
- Since there are quite a lot of individuals in captivity, they often run away from the reserves and migrate away, trying with all their might to hide from a person. Funny can be assumed that their resettlement can drag on for so long that they will reach the territory where they have not lived before, for example, now about two thousand pairs are in Ireland.
- When a hybrid individual is excreted, a genetic mutation may occur, as a result of which the color of its color will be purely white. Such albinos can be found in the protected territory or in zoos, but there are not so many of them.