Mandarins – Part I

Mandarin Duck 20130507_93

After relocating to Western North Carolina last April I quickly found the different lakes and hiking trails.  One day while I was hiking at a local lake I saw the Mandarin ducks.  I fell in love.  We do not have Mandarin Ducks in NJ and I have only seen them on the Internet.  There were three mails together and apparently it was due to the fact the hens were in the boxes sitting on their eggs.  I would see an expectant Mandarin father sitting on his box and see a rustling inside.

expectmand

When the expectant father went into the box it would give the hen some freedom and I would see her on the lake or flying across.

Mandarin Duck 20130507_50

The females aren’t as magnificently colored as the males, but they are still beautiful.  Mandarin females and Wood Duck females are somewhat similar and hard to tell apart.  The colors on their wings are a little different but not by that much.

Mandarin Duck 20130507_47

The Mandarin males on the other hand are brilliantly colored.  They are striking and unlike any other species of duck.  They look as if someone has painted them.

On Mother’s Day, I finally got to see one of the Mandarin families.  The hen brought out her 12 chicks and they followed her all across the lake.

Mandarin Duck & Babes 20130508_227

In a little while the Mandarin father came out to swim with his family.

Mandarin Family 20130508_253

They moved their family to another location shortly after I took this photo on Mother’s Day last year.   The Mandarin mother should receive the Mother of the Year award.  : )

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