Friday, March 12, 2010

Animal world-The Mandarin Duck

The Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) , or just Mandarin, is a medium-sized perching duck, closely related to the North American Wood Duck. It is 41-49 cm long with a 65-75 cm wingspan.

The adult male is a striking and unmistakable bird. It has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and "whiskers". The breast is purple with two vertical white bars, and the flanks ruddy, with two orange "sails" at the back. The female is similar to female Wood Duck, with a white eye-ring and stripe running back from the eye, but is paler below, has a small white flank stripe, and a pale tip to its bill

Mandarin Ducks, which are referred to by the Chinese as Yuan-yang are frequently featured in Oriental art and are regarded as a symbol of conjugal affection and fidelity.

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