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Nikon D700 & Nikkor 80-400mm lens.

534 views, 74 comments, Favouritted by 14 and 10 features as at 05.09.2012

Winner in the Birds Groups “Best Image Of A Water Bird” on 17.11.2013
Winner in the Nikon Fun Groups “Ducks, Ducks And More Ducks” challenge on 06.12.2012
2nd in the Featured For A Challenge groups “Quack To A Neigh #001” challenge on 05.09.2012
Top Ten in The Great Outdoors Group challenge

Featured in
Featured For A Challenge on 14.08.2012
Where On Earth Is This on 16.04.2012
Colour & Light on 04.01.2012
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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. The Mandarin ducklings are almost identical in look to Wood ducklings, and appear very similar to Mallard ducklings. The ducklings can be distinguished from Mallard ducklings because the eye-stripe of Mandarin ducklings (and Wood ducklings) stops at the eye, while in Mallard ducklings it reaches all the way to the bill.

The species was once widespread in eastern Asia, but large-scale exports and the destruction of its forest habitat have reduced populations in eastern Russia and in China to below 1,000 pairs in each country; Japan, however, is thought to still hold some 5,000 pairs.

Specimens frequently escape from collections, and in the 20th century a large feral population numbering was established in Great Britain; more recently small numbers have bred in Ireland. There now about 7000 in Britain, and other populations on the European continent, the largest in the region of Berlin. Black Mountain, North Carolina also has a limited population. There is also a free-flying feral population of several hundred mandarins in Sonoma County, California. This population is the result of several mandarin ducks escaping from captivity, then going on to reproduce in the wild.

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I have always had a love of capturing images and in my early teens took many photographs on my little Kodak camera. I loved the wild open spaces and bird life in particular and longed to be able to be an accomplished photographer. It took ill health and a forced early retirement to re-kindle this love of photography. I am a self-taught amateur photographer who has had no formal training. I take great pride and joy in my work and these days have the time to pursue this wonderful hobby.

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  • supergold
    supergoldabout 3 years ago

    fantastic shot and colors

  • Thanks Fred for your comment and fav.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Norma-jean Morrison
    Norma-jean Mor...about 3 years ago


  • Thank you so much Norma for your wonderful comment and fav.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • waxyfrog
    waxyfrogabout 3 years ago

    Fantastic . Aren’t they amazing?

  • Thank you and yes they are amazing and very beautiful.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeabout 3 years ago

  • Thanks Ray.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Julie  White
    Julie Whiteabout 3 years ago

    Simply superb capture and duck well done Ralph.

  • Thanks for the great comment and fav Julie.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • jainiemac
    jainiemacabout 3 years ago

    beautiful image his plumage is wonderful colours !

  • Thanks so much Jane.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • artisandelimage
    artisandelimageabout 3 years ago

    congratulations for your well deserved feature in the Colour and Light group !!!
    my best, francis.

  • Thanks a lot Francis.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • Tim Scullion
    Tim Scullionabout 3 years ago

    Amazing color and detail!

  • Thank you Tim.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • virginian
    virginianabout 3 years ago

    Good notes. Fantastic shot of this beautiful bird!

  • Thanks for the terrific comment Judy.

    – Ralph de Zilva

  • mspfoto
    mspfotoabout 3 years ago

    That’s a cracking shot Ralph, love the colour.

  • Thanks so much Mark.

    – Ralph de Zilva

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