Friday, 29 April 2016

Oh Carolina - a Shaggy duck story!

Whilst out catching Dippers tonight I caught something a little unexpected!

Mandarin Ducks are quite common on many of the rivers we ring Dippers on nowadays but examining this bird carefully the shape of the spectacle around the eye, the generally darker plumage and the shorter legs all indicated that this wasn't a female Mandarin but a female Wood Duck. Its a very tricky identification problem separating the two but the clincher for me was the male that got out of the net as I was running over to it ( I hope he could tell the difference!)

Whilst I know we can ring Mandarins I wasn't sure of the rules regarding Wood Duck so this one went off without a ring. Will have to check now in case I catch another.


  1. That's a female Mandarin Crossy. Get back to yer tom tits! Hope all well with you. Baz

  2. Well t was!!

    I did wonder! Thanks Baz you should know!

    B****cks, not only have I made a bit of a prat of myself but more importantly released a perfectly ringable Mandarin that could have been as interesting as wee 'Mac' (see ). Well the drake was definitely a Wood Duck (or should that be an I Would Duck)? Should have known better than to have relied on a male duck being selective. Blimey, any ducklings produced are just going to add to the confusion.

  3. Being in the Thames Valley I am lucky that we have numerous Mandarins around and can confirm it is a female. Interestingly with nearly thirty caught so far this year only 5 have been females. Reports of hybrids between the 2 in captivity are very unusual so would be interest to know if there is any evidence of breeding. Keep up the excellent blog.


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