Exotic duck returns to a St. Louis County park


FLORISSANT, Mo. – An unusual duck is back at a St. Louis County park. A FOX 2 viewer sent images of the Mandarin duck with a flock of Mallards at St. Ferdinand Park.

The unusual bird has been spotted during the fall at the same spot in Florissant over the past few years. The birds are native to Asia and spend their winters in southern China and Japan. Although, there are some populations of Mandarin ducks that have been established by people in Europe and North America. There are some flocks in California and Florida.

The bird spotted in St. Louis County seems to be traveling without a Mandarin companion. But, it can be difficult to tell because males and females in the species look very different. The males have a reddish face and “whiskers” while the females look more like Wood ducks.

It is possible that the Asian species may compete with native ducks. There is some evidence that they destroy the eggs of other birds in a lab setting. They may also be able to breed with native Wood ducks. But reports of that happening are rare.

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