Mandarin duck, Richmond Park, London, England
© Oscar Dewhurst/Minden Picture
A flashy, frigid waterfowl. Mandarin duck, Richmond Park, London, UK
The cold, dreary backdrop of winter can be the perfect time to show off a little colour. This male mandarin duck is doing just that with his handsome crest and multi-hued plumage. Come moulting season, he will look more like his mostly brown and white female counterpart, except for his bright yellow-orange or red beak.
Closely related to the North American wood duck, the mandarin duck is native to east Asia, but populations have been introduced to a variety of European countries as well as the British Isles. This drake is hunkering down in Richmond Park, London, a national nature reserve about three times the size of New York’s Central Park, so hopefully he won’t have too much trouble finding a mate come spring.