Decidedly rare and colorful Mandarin duck spotted in a park

Jaimie-lee Prince
Nov 02, 2018
06:14 P.M.
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The creature made appearances in Central Park and near the Hudson River before seeming to settle in the first destination. 


The mandarin duck has gained tons of admiration from those who were lucky enough to get a sighting of it sometime last month. 

It was first spotted on October 10 on a pond in Central Park. Manhattan Bird Alert shared a short clip on Twitter of the gorgeous bird. 

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In the video, one sees the purple, blue, green, gold, and red feathers and beak the creature boasts. 

Enthusiasts were enthralled. The bird disappeared the next day before it was seen again days later on the boat basin on West 79th Street, near the Hudson River.


Photographers flocked to get shots of the male animal. Then it appeared again last Sunday again in Central Park's pond.

David Barrett who runs the Twitter account that featured the clip spoke to Fox News

He said the duck "got a lot of publicity, but few people got to see it. But then it shows up mysteriously at the boat basin." 


The bird's entire presence is a mystery in itself. No one knows how it ended up here although they sure are happy to have it. 

Barrett suggested three possibilities: 

“The Mandarin duck is not native in the United States at all; it’s a wild bird in East Asia. The only way you would see that duck in our area is at a zoo, and the Central Park Zoo has a Mandarin duck that looks just like this one." 


Barrett made some calls and found the above untrue. There was no missing duck reported by any zoos around. 

“Perhaps someone had a little duck farm and it escaped. [The animal] was “definitely owned because it has a black band around its leg, signifying it was a captive bird.”

His last idea was that the owner “got tired of it and decided to release it in the park." 

The above two cannot be confirmed because it's illegal to own a duck as a domestic pet in New York City. For now, admirers are concerned about the duck's safety especially with winter coming. 


According to Barrett, "There is a risk it could die if the water freezes over. As long as it has open water, it will do just fine." He continued, “He might live very happily on the Central Park Pond.”

The duck is native to southeast Asia. It brings to mind the rare European white-headed Xyura leucocephala duck. 

The latter was threatened by American ruddy ducks who started mating with the white-headed birds. Now, hybrids live in the area. 


Bird enthusiasts may be looking for a similar result in Central Park since the male bird has no Mandarin females to mate with.

Back in 2007, another incredible creature was spotted on the continent in Lake Charles, Louisiana. 

Captain Erik Rue was presumably the first to spot a pink dolphin. Locals later named the female Pinkie. 

People regularly visit the area to get a sighting of the stunning sea creature. At first, Rue suggested her hue is a genetic abnormality but he has changed his belief.

Rue and the World Wildlife Fund now deem it a natural color. There is also a freshwater species of dolphin called the Amazon River dolphin who shares the same color.