Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Order: Anseriformes Family: Anatidae Status: Breeding in Madeira

Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata

Mandarin Duck Field ID Keys

Shape & Size

A medium-sized duck with a large head and neck and broad, square tail. Males in summer plumage have triangular orange sails.

Colour Pattern

Drakes are colorful with a white head band, bushy orange whiskers, orange sails and red bill. Females, eclipse males and juveniles are grey-brownish with fine white spectacles, the eclipse male keeps its red bill while females and juveniles have it pink-greyish.


This is a relatively silent duck except when displaying.


Some feral populations have established in Europe and Porto Santo is one of these cases, where the species escaped from captivity, started to breed at Tanque pond and then spread to other water reservoirs in that island.

Distinction from similar species

Females, eclipse males and juveniles of Mandarin Duck may resemble those of Wood Duck but the first has lighter and greyer colors overall.

Aix galericulata Biometrics

Wingspan: 68 - 74 cm (Beaman & Madge, 2011)
Total length: 41 - 49 cm (Beaman & Madge, 2011)

Other Bird Facts

Seasonality in Madeira: All year (in Porto Santo)
Breeding: Builds its nest in wooded areas near shallow lakes, marshes or ponds and lays between 9 and 12 eggs in a single, annual clutch.
Diet: Eats plants, seeds, some insects and small fish


Madeira local status by Correia-Fagundes et al, 2021: Very rare breeding bird
Madeira local status by Trujillo, 2012: Breeding bird
Conservation status by the IUCN Red List Categories, 2013: Least Concern ver 3.1

Name of this species in other languages

Portuguese: Pato-mandarim
German: Mandarinente
Dutch: Mandarijneend
Swedish: Mandarinand
Danish: Mandarinand
Finish: Mandariinisorsa
Norwegian: Mandarinand
Spanish: Pato Mandarín
French: Canard mandarin
Italian: Anatra mandarina
Polish: Mandarynka
Slovak: Kańćińćka mandar√≠nska
Czech: Kachnińćka mandar√≠nsk√°

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